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You are on page 1of 247

STRING FIELD THEORY

Warren Siegel

University of Maryland

College Park, Maryland

**Present address: State University of New York, Stony Brook
**

mailto:warren@wcgall.physics.sunysb.edu

http://insti.physics.sunysb.edu/˜siegel/plan.html

CONTENTS

**Preface 6. Classical mechanics
**

1. Introduction 6.1. Gauge covariant 120

1.1. Motivation 1 6.2. Conformal gauge 122

1.2. Known models (interacting) 3 6.3. Light cone 125

1.3. Aspects 4 Exercises 127

1.4. Outline 6 7. Light-cone quantum mechanics

2. General light cone 7.1. Bosonic 128

2.1. Actions 8 7.2. Spinning 134

2.2. Conformal algebra 10 7.3. Supersymmetric 137

2.3. Poincaré algebra 13 Exercises 145

2.4. Interactions 16 8. BRST quantum mechanics

2.5. Graphs 19 8.1. IGL(1) 146

2.6. Covariantized light cone 20 8.2. OSp(1,1|2) 157

Exercises 23 8.3. Lorentz gauge 160

3. General BRST Exercises 170

3.1. Gauge invariance and 9. Graphs

constraints 25 9.1. External ﬁelds 171

3.2. IGL(1) 29 9.2. Trees 177

3.3. OSp(1,1|2) 35 9.3. Loops 190

3.4. From the light cone 38 Exercises 196

3.5. Fermions 45 10. Light-cone ﬁeld theory 197

3.6. More dimensions 46 Exercises 203

Exercises 51 11. BRST ﬁeld theory

4. General gauge theories 11.1. Closed strings 204

4.1. OSp(1,1|2) 52 11.2. Components 207

4.2. IGL(1) 62 Exercises 214

4.3. Extra modes 67 12. Gauge-invariant interactions

4.4. Gauge ﬁxing 68 12.1. Introduction 215

4.5. Fermions 75 12.2. Midpoint interaction 217

Exercises 79 Exercises 228

5. Particle References 230

5.1. Bosonic 81 Index 241

5.2. BRST 84

5.3. Spinning 86

5.4. Supersymmetric 95

5.5. SuperBRST 110

Exercises 118

PREFACE

**First, I’d like to explain the title of this book. I always hated books whose titles
**

began “Introduction to...” In particular, when I was a grad student, books titled

“Introduction to Quantum Field Theory” were the most diﬃcult and advanced text-

books available, and I always feared what a quantum ﬁeld theory book which was

not introductory would look like. There is now a standard reference on relativistic

string theory by Green, Schwarz, and Witten, Superstring Theory [0.1], which con-

sists of two volumes, is over 1,000 pages long, and yet admits to having some major

omissions. Now that I see, from an author’s point of view, how much eﬀort is nec-

essary to produce a non-introductory text, the words “Introduction to” take a more

tranquilizing character. (I have worked on a one-volume, non-introductory text on

another topic, but that was in association with three coauthors.) Furthermore, these

words leave me the option of omitting topics which I don’t understand, or at least

being more heuristic in the areas which I haven’t studied in detail yet.

**The rest of the title is “String Field Theory.” This is the newest approach
**

to string theory, although the older approaches are continuously developing new

twists and improvements. The main alternative approach is the quantum mechanical

(/analog-model/path-integral/interacting-string-picture/Polyakov/conformal- “ﬁeld-

theory”) one, which necessarily treats a ﬁxed number of ﬁelds, corresponding to

homogeneous equations in the ﬁeld theory. (For example, there is no analog in the

mechanics approach of even the nonabelian gauge transformation of the ﬁeld theory,

which includes such fundamental concepts as general coordinate invariance.) It is also

an S-matrix approach, and can thus calculate only quantities which are gauge-ﬁxed

(although limited background-ﬁeld techniques allow the calculation of 1-loop eﬀective

actions with only some coeﬃcients gauge-dependent). In the old S-matrix approach

to ﬁeld theory, the basic idea was to start with the S-matrix, and then analytically

continue to obtain quantities which are oﬀ-shell (and perhaps in more general gauges).

However, in the long run, it turned out to be more practical to work directly with

ﬁeld theory Lagrangians, even for semiclassical results such as spontaneous symmetry

breaking and instantons, which change the meaning of “on-shell” by redeﬁning the

vacuum to be a state which is not as obvious from looking at the unphysical-vacuum

S-matrix. Of course, S-matrix methods are always valuable for perturbation theory,

but even in perturbation theory it is far more convenient to start with the ﬁeld theory

in order to determine which vacuum to perturb about, which gauges to use, and what

power-counting rules can be used to determine divergence structure without speciﬁc

S-matrix calculations. (More details on this comparison are in the Introduction.)

Unfortunately, string ﬁeld theory is in a rather primitive state right now, and not

even close to being as well understood as ordinary (particle) ﬁeld theory. Of course,

this is exactly the reason why the present is the best time to do research in this area.

(Anyone who can honestly say, “I’ll learn it when it’s better understood,” should mark

a date on his calendar for returning to graduate school.) It is therefore simultaneously

the best time for someone to read a book on the topic and the worst time for someone

to write one. I have tried to compensate for this problem somewhat by expanding on

the more introductory parts of the topic. Several of the early chapters are actually

on the topic of general (particle/string) ﬁeld theory, but explained from a new point

of view resulting from insights gained from string ﬁeld theory. (A more standard

course on quantum ﬁeld theory is assumed as a prerequisite.) This includes the use

of a universal method for treating free ﬁeld theories, which allows the derivation of

a single, simple, free, local, Poincaré-invariant, gauge-invariant action that can be

applied directly to any ﬁeld. (Previously, only some special cases had been treated,

and each in a diﬀerent way.) As a result, even though the fact that I have tried to

make this book self-contained with regard to string theory in general means that there

is signiﬁcant overlap with other treatments, within this overlap the approaches are

sometimes quite diﬀerent, and perhaps in some ways complementary. (The treatments

of ref. [0.2] are also quite diﬀerent, but for quite diﬀerent reasons.)

Exercises are given at the end of each chapter (except the introduction) to guide

the reader to examples which illustrate the ideas in the chapter, and to encourage

him to perform calculations which have been omitted to avoid making the length of

this book diverge.

This work was done at the University of Maryland, with partial support from

the National Science Foundation. It is partly based on courses I gave in the falls of

1985 and 1986. I received valuable comments from Aleksandar Miković, Christian

Preitschopf, Anton van de Ven, and Harold Mark Weiser. I especially thank Barton

Zwiebach, who collaborated with me on most of the work on which this book was

based.

June 16, 1988 Warren Siegel

**Originally published 1988 by World Scientiﬁc Publishing Co Pte Ltd.
**

ISBN 9971-50-731-5, 9971-50-731-3 (pbk)

July 11, 2001: liberated, corrected, bookmarks added (to pdf)

1.1. Motivation 1

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1. Motivation

The experiments which gave us quantum theory and general relativity are now

quite old, but a satisfactory theory which is consistent with both of them has yet

to be found. Although the importance of such a theory is undeniable, the urgency

of ﬁnding it may not be so obvious, since the quantum eﬀects of gravity are not

yet accessible to experiment. However, recent progress in the problem has indicated

that the restrictions imposed by quantum mechanics on a ﬁeld theory of gravitation

are so stringent as to require that it also be a uniﬁed theory of all interactions, and

thus quantum gravity would lead to predictions for other interactions which can be

subjected to present-day experiment. Such indications were given by supergravity

theories [1.1], where ﬁniteness was found at some higher-order loops as a consequence

of supersymmetry, which requires the presence of matter ﬁelds whose quantum eﬀects

cancel the ultraviolet divergences of the graviton ﬁeld. Thus, quantum consistency led

to higher symmetry which in turn led to uniﬁcation. However, even this symmetry was

found insuﬃcient to guarantee ﬁniteness at all loops [1.2] (unless perhaps the graviton

were found to be a bound-state of a truly ﬁnite theory). Interest then returned to

theories which had already presented the possibility of consistent quantum gravity

theories as a consequence of even larger (hidden) symmetries: theories of relativistic

strings [1.3-5]. Strings thus oﬀer a possibility of consistently describing all of nature.

However, even if strings eventually turn out to disagree with nature, or to be too

intractable to be useful for phenomenological applications, they are still the only

consistent toy models of quantum gravity (especially for the theory of the graviton

as a bound state), so their study will still be useful for discovering new properties of

quantum gravity.

The fundamental diﬀerence between a particle and a string is that a particle is a 0-

dimensional object in space, with a 1-dimensional world-line describing its trajectory

in spacetime, while a string is a (ﬁnite, open or closed) 1-dimensional object in space,

which sweeps out a 2-dimensional world-sheet as it propagates through spacetime:

2 1. INTRODUCTION

##

#

x x(τ ) #

#

#

#

particle r #

c

c

c

c

c

c

cc

##

#

#

#

X(σ) X(σ, τ ) #

# ##

# #

#

#

#

#

#

c

string c

c

c

c

c

cc

c

c

c

c

c

c

cc

**The nontrivial topology of the coordinates describes interactions. A string can be
**

either open or closed, depending on whether it has 2 free ends (its boundary) or is

a continuous ring (no boundary), respectively. The corresponding spacetime ﬁgure

is then either a sheet or a tube (and their combinations, and topologically more

complicated structures, when they interact).

Strings were originally intended to describe hadrons directly, since the observed

spectrum and high-energy behavior of hadrons (linearly rising Regge trajectories,

which in a perturbative framework implies the property of hadronic duality) seems

realizable only in a string framework. After a quark structure for hadrons became

generally accepted, it was shown that conﬁnement would naturally lead to a string

formulation of hadrons, since the topological expansion which follows from using

1/N color as a perturbation parameter (the only dimensionless one in massless QCD,

besides 1/N f lavor ), after summation in the other parameter (the gluon coupling, which

becomes the hadronic mass scale after dimensional transmutation), is the same per-

1.2. Known models (interacting) 3

**turbation expansion as occurs in theories of fundamental strings [1.6]. Certain string
**

theories can thus be considered alternative and equivalent formulations of QCD, just

as general ﬁeld theories can be equivalently formulated either in terms of “funda-

mental” particles or in terms of the particles which arise as bound states. However,

in practice certain criteria, in particular renormalizability, can be simply formulated

only in one formalism: For example, QCD is easier to use than a theory where gluons

are treated as bound states of self-interacting quarks, the latter being a nonrenor-

malizable theory which needs an unwieldy criterion (“asymptotic safety” [1.7]) to

restrict the available inﬁnite number of couplings to a ﬁnite subset. On the other

hand, atomic physics is easier to use as a theory of electrons, nuclei, and photons

than a formulation in terms of ﬁelds describing self-interacting atoms whose exci-

tations lie on Regge trajectories (particularly since QED is not conﬁning). Thus,

the choice of formulation is dependent on the dynamics of the particular theory, and

perhaps even on the region in momentum space for that particular application: per-

haps quarks for large transverse momenta and strings for small. In particular, the

running of the gluon coupling may lead to nonrenormalizability problems for small

transverse momenta [1.8] (where an inﬁnite number of arbitrary couplings may show

up as nonperturbative vacuum values of operators of arbitrarily high dimension), and

thus QCD may be best considered as an eﬀective theory at large transverse momenta

(in the same way as a perturbatively nonrenormalizable theory at low energies, like

the Fermi theory of weak interactions, unless asymptotic safety is applied). Hence, a

string formulation, where mesons are the fundamental ﬁelds (and baryons appear as

skyrmeon-type solitons [1.9]) may be unavoidable. Thus, strings may be important

for hadronic physics as well as for gravity and uniﬁed theories; however, the presently

known string models seem to apply only to the latter, since they contain massless

particles and have (maximum) spacetime dimension D = 10 (whereas conﬁnement in

QCD occurs for D ≤ 4).

1.2. Known models (interacting)

**Although many string theories have been invented which are consistent at the
**

tree level, most have problems at the one-loop level. (There are also theories which

are already so complicated at the free level that the interacting theories have been

too diﬃcult to formulate to test at the one-loop level, and these will not be discussed

here.) These one-loop problems generally show up as anomalies. It turns out that

the anomaly-free theories are exactly the ones which are ﬁnite. Generally, topologi-

4 1. INTRODUCTION

**cal arguments based on reparametrization invariance (the “stretchiness” of the string
**

world sheet) show that any multiloop string graph can be represented as a tree graph

with many one-loop insertions [1.10], so all divergences should be representable as just

one-loop divergences. The fact that one-loop divergences should generate overlapping

divergences then implies that one-loop divergences cause anomalies in reparametriza-

tion invariance, since the resultant multi-loop divergences are in conﬂict with the

one-loop-insertion structure implied by the invariance. Therefore, ﬁniteness should

be a necessary requirement for string theories (even purely bosonic ones) in order to

avoid anomalies in reparametrization invariance. Furthermore, the absence of anoma-

lies in such global transformations determines the dimension of spacetime, which in

all known nonanomalous theories is D = 10. (This is also known as the “critical,” or

maximum, dimension, since some of the dimensions can be compactiﬁed or otherwise

made unobservable, although the number of degrees of freedom is unchanged.)

**In fact, there are only four such theories:
**

I: N=1 supersymmetry, SO(32) gauge group, open [1.11]

IIA,B: N=2 nonchiral or chiral supersymmetry [1.12]

heterotic: N=1 supersymmetry, SO(32) or E8 ⊗E8 [1.13]

or broken N=1 supersymmetry, SO(16)⊗SO(16) [1.14]

All except the ﬁrst describe only closed strings; the ﬁrst describes open strings, which

produce closed strings as bound states. (There are also many cases of each of these

theories due to the various possibilities for compactiﬁcation of the extra dimensions

onto tori or other manifolds, including some which have tachyons.) However, for sim-

plicity we will ﬁrst consider certain inconsistent theories: the bosonic string, which has

global reparametrization anomalies unless D = 26 (and for which the local anomalies

described above even for D = 26 have not yet been explicitly derived), and the spin-

ning string, which is nonanomalous only when it is truncated to the above strings.

The heterotic strings are actually closed strings for which modes propagating in the

clockwise direction are nonsupersymmetric and 26-dimensional, while the counter-

clockwise ones are N = 1 (perhaps-broken) supersymmetric and 10-dimensional, or

vice versa.

1.3. Aspects

**There are several aspects of, or approaches to, string theory which can best be
**

classiﬁed by the spacetime dimension in which they work: D = 2, 4, 6, 10. The 2D

1.3. Aspects 5

**approach is the method of ﬁrst-quantization in the two-dimensional world sheet swept
**

out by the string as it propagates, and is applicable solely to (second-quantized) per-

turbation theory, for which it is the only tractable method of calculation. Since it

discusses only the properties of individual graphs, it can’t discuss properties which

involve an unﬁxed number of string ﬁelds: gauge transformations, spontaneous sym-

metry breaking, semiclassical solutions to the string ﬁeld equations, etc. Also, it can

describe only the gauge-ﬁxed theory, and only in a limited set of gauges. (However,

by introducing external particle ﬁelds, a limited amount of information on the gauge-

invariant theory can be obtained.) Recently most of the eﬀort in this area has been

concentrated on applying this approach to higher loops. However, in particle ﬁeld

theory, particularly for Yang-Mills, gravity, and supersymmetric theories (all of which

are contained in various string theories), signiﬁcant (and sometimes indispensable)

improvements in higher-loop calculations have required techniques using the gauge-

invariant ﬁeld theory action. Since such techniques, whose string versions have not

yet been derived, could drastically aﬀect the S-matrix techniques of the 2D approach,

we do not give the most recent details of the 2D approach here, but some of the basic

ideas, and the ones we suspect most likely to survive future reformulations, will be

described in chapters 6-9.

**The 4D approach is concerned with the phenomenological applications of the
**

low-energy eﬀective theories obtained from the string theory. Since these theories are

still very tentative (and still too ambiguous for many applications), they will not be

discussed here. (See [1.15,0.1].)

**The 6D approach describes the compactiﬁcations (or equivalent eliminations) of
**

the 6 additional dimensions which must shrink from sight in order to obtain the

observed dimensionality of the macroscopic world. Unfortunately, this approach has

several problems which inhibit a useful treatment in a book: (1) So far, no justiﬁcation

has been given as to why the compactiﬁcation occurs to the desired models, or to

4 dimensions, or at all; (2) the style of compactiﬁcation (Kaluża-Klein, Calabi-Yau,

toroidal, orbifold, fermionization, etc.) deemed most promising changes from year

to year; and (3) the string model chosen to compactify (see previous section) also

changes every few years. Therefore, the 6D approach won’t be discussed here, either

(see [1.16,0.1]).

**What is discussed here is primarily the 10D approach, or second quantization,
**

which seeks to obtain a more systematic understanding of string theory that would

allow treatment of nonperturbative as well as perturbative aspects, and describe the

6 1. INTRODUCTION

**enlarged hidden gauge symmetries which give string theories their ﬁniteness and other
**

unusual properties. In particular, it would be desirable to have a formalism in which

all the symmetries (gauge, Lorentz, spacetime supersymmetry) are manifest, ﬁniteness

follows from simple power-counting rules, and all possible models (including possible

4D models whose existence is implied by the 1/N expansion of QCD and hadronic

duality) can be straightforwardly classiﬁed. In ordinary (particle) supersymmetric

ﬁeld theories [1.17], such a formalism (superfields or superspace) has resulted in much

simpler rules for constructing general actions, calculating quantum corrections (su-

pergraphs), and explaining all ﬁniteness properties (independent from, but veriﬁed by,

explicit supergraph calculations). The ﬁniteness results make use of the background

ﬁeld gauge, which can be deﬁned only in a ﬁeld theory formulation where all symme-

tries are manifest, and in this gauge divergence cancellations are automatic, requiring

no explicit evaluation of integrals.

1.4. Outline

**String theory can be considered a particular kind of particle theory, in that its
**

modes of excitation correspond to diﬀerent particles. All these particles, which diﬀer

in spin and other quantum numbers, are related by a symmetry which reﬂects the

properties of the string. As discussed above, quantum ﬁeld theory is the most com-

plete framework within which to study the properties of particles. Not only is this

framework not yet well understood for strings, but the study of string ﬁeld theory has

brought attention to aspects which are not well understood even for general types of

particles. (This is another respect in which the study of strings resembles the study

of supersymmetry.) We therefore devote chapts. 2-4 to a general study of ﬁeld theory.

Rather than trying to describe strings in the language of old quantum ﬁeld theory,

we recast the formalism of ﬁeld theory in a mold prescribed by techniques learned

from the study of strings. This language clariﬁes the relationship between physical

states and gauge degrees of freedom, as well as giving a general and straightforward

method for writing free actions for arbitrary theories.

In chapts. 5-6 we discuss the mechanics of the particle and string. As mentioned

above, this approach is a useful calculational tool for evaluating graphs in perturba-

tion theory, including the interaction vertices themselves. The quantum mechanics

of the string is developed in chapts. 7-8, but it is primarily discussed directly as an

operator algebra for the ﬁeld theory, although it follows from quantization of the clas-

sical mechanics of the previous chapter, and vice versa. In general, the procedure of

1.4. Outline 7

**ﬁrst-quantization of a relativistic system serves only to identify its constraint algebra,
**

which directly corresponds to both the ﬁeld equations and gauge transformations of

the free ﬁeld theory. However, as described in chapts. 2-4, such a ﬁrst-quantization

procedure does not exist for general particle theories, but the constraint system can

be derived by other means. The free gauge-covariant theory then follows in a straight-

forward way. String perturbation theory is discussed in chapt. 9.

**Finally, the methods of chapts. 2-4 are applied to strings in chapts. 10-12, where
**

string ﬁeld theory is discussed. These chapters are still rather introductory, since

many problems still remain in formulating interacting string ﬁeld theory, even in the

light-cone formalism. However, a more complete understanding of the extension of the

methods of chapts. 2-4 to just particle ﬁeld theory should help in the understanding

of strings.

**Chapts. 2-5 can be considered almost as an independent book, an attempt at a
**

general approach to all of ﬁeld theory. For those few high energy physicists who are

not intensely interested in strings (or do not have high enough energy to study them),

it can be read as a new introduction to ordinary ﬁeld theory, although familiarity with

quantum ﬁeld theory as it is usually taught is assumed. Strings can then be left for

later as an example. On the other hand, for those who want just a brief introduction

to strings, a straightforward, though less elegant, treatment can be found via the

light cone in chapts. 6,7,9,10 (with perhaps some help from sects. 2.1 and 2.5). These

chapters overlap with most other treatments of string theory. The remainder of the

book (chapts. 8,11,12) is basically the synthesis of these two topics.

8 2. GENERAL LIGHT CONE

2. GENERAL LIGHT CONE

2.1. Actions

**Before discussing the string we ﬁrst consider some general properties of gauge
**

theories and ﬁeld theories, starting with the light-cone formalism.

In general, light-cone ﬁeld theory [2.1] looks like nonrelativistic ﬁeld theory. Using

light-cone notation, for vector indices a and the Minkowski inner product A · B =

η ab Ab B a = Aa B a ,

a = (+, −, i) , A · B = A+ B − + A− B + + Ai B i , (2.1.1)

**we interpret x+ as being the “time” coordinate (even though it points in a lightlike
**

direction), in terms of which the evolution of the system is described. The metric

can be diagonalized by A± ≡ 2−1/2 (A1 ∓ A0 ). For positive energy E(= p0 = −p0 ),

we have on shell p+ ≥ 0 and p− ≤ 0 (corresponding to paths with ∆x+ ≥ 0 and

∆x− ≤ 0), with the opposite signs for negative energy (antiparticles). For example,

for a real scalar ﬁeld the lagrangian is rewritten as

pi 2 + m2

− 12 φ(p2 2

+ m )φ = −φp+ p− + φ = −φp+ (p− + H)φ , (2.1.2)

2p+

where the momentum pa ≡ i∂ a , p− = i∂/∂x+ with respect to the “time” x+ , and

p+ appears like a mass in the “hamiltonian” H. (In the light-cone formalism, p+

is assumed to be invertible.) Thus, the ﬁeld equations are ﬁrst-order in these time

derivatives, and the ﬁeld satisﬁes a nonrelativistic-style Schrödinger equation. The

ﬁeld equation can then be solved explicitly: In the free theory,

φ(x+ ) = eix+ H φ(0) . (2.1.3)

**p− can then be eﬀectively replaced with −H. Note that, unlike the nonrelativistic
**

case, the hamiltonian H, although hermitian, is imaginary (in coordinate space), due

to the i in p+ = i∂ + . Thus, (2.1.3) is consistent with a (coordinate-space) reality

condition on the ﬁeld.

2.1. Actions 9

**For a spinor, half the components are auxiliary (nonpropagating, since the ﬁeld
**

equation is only ﬁrst-order in momenta), and all auxiliary components are eliminated

in the light-cone formalism by their equations of motion (which, by deﬁnition, don’t

involve inverting time derivatives p− ):

√

1 1/4

2p−

σ i pi + im 1/4

ψ+

− 12 ψ̄(/

p+ im)ψ = − 22 ( ψ+ †

ψ− †

) √ 2

σ i pi − im − 2p+ ψ−

† †

= − ψ + p− ψ + + ψ − p+ ψ −

1 1

− √ ψ − † (σ i pi − im)ψ + − √ ψ + † (σ i pi + im)ψ −

2 2

→ − ψ + † (p− + H)ψ + , (2.1.4)

**where H is the same hamiltonian as in (2.1.2). (There is an extra overall factor of 2
**

in (2.1.4) for complex spinors. We have assumed real (Majorana) spinors.)

For the case of Yang-Mills, the covariant action is

1 D

S = 2 d x tr L , L = 14 F ab 2 , (2.1.5a)

g

F ab ≡ [∇a , ∇b ] , ∇a ≡ pa + Aa , ∇a = eiλ ∇a e−iλ . (2.1.5b)

(Contraction with a matrix representation of the group generators is implicit.) The

light-cone gauge is then deﬁned as

A+ = 0 . (2.1.6)

**Since the gauge transformation of the gauge condition doesn’t involve the time deriva-
**

tive ∂ − , the Faddeev-Popov ghosts are nonpropagating, and can be ignored. The ﬁeld

equation of A− contains no time derivatives, so A− is an auxiliary ﬁeld. We therefore

eliminate it by its equation of motion:

1

0 = [∇a , F +a ] = p+ 2 A− + [∇i , p+ Ai ] → A− = − [∇i , p+ Ai ] . (2.1.7)

p+ 2

The only remaining ﬁelds are Ai , corresponding to the physical transverse polariza-

tions. The lagrangian is then

L = 12 Ai 2 Ai + [Ai , Aj ]pi Aj + 14 [Ai , Aj ]2

2

1 1 1

+ (pj Aj ) [Ai , p+ Ai ] + 2 [Ai , p+ Ai ] . (2.1.8)

p+ p+

**In fact, for arbitrary spin, after gauge-ﬁxing (A+··· = 0) and eliminating auxiliary
**

ﬁelds (A−··· = · · ·), we get for the free theory

L = −ψ † (p+ )k (p− + H)ψ , (2.1.9)

10 2. GENERAL LIGHT CONE

**where k = 1 for bosons and 0 for fermions.
**

The choice of light-cone gauges in particle mechanics will be discussed in chapt. 5,

and for string mechanics in sect. 6.3 and chapt. 7. Light-cone ﬁeld theory for strings

will be discussed in chapt. 10.

2.2. Conformal algebra

Since the free kinetic operator of any light-cone ﬁeld is just 2 (up to factors of

∂ + ), the only nontrivial part of any free light-cone ﬁeld theory is the representation

of the Poincaré group ISO(D−1,1) (see, e.g., [2.2]). In the next section we will

derive this representation for arbitrary massless theories (and will later extend it

to the massive case) [2.3]. These representations are nonlinear in the coordinates,

and are constructed from all the irreducible (matrix) representations of the light-

cone’s SO(D−2) rotation subgroup of the spin part of the SO(D−1,1) Lorentz group.

One simple method of derivation involves the use of the conformal group, which is

SO(D,2) for D-dimensional spacetime (for D > 2). We therefore use SO(D,2) notation

by writing (D+2)-dimensional vector indices which take the values ± as well as the

usual D a’s: A = (±, a). The metric is as in (2.1.1) for the ± indices. (These ±’s

should not be confused with the light-cone indices ±, which are related but are a

subset of the a’s.) We then write the conformal group generators as

J AB = (J +a = −ipa , J −a = −iK a , J −+ = ∆, J ab ) , (2.2.1)

**where J ab are the Lorentz generators, ∆ is the dilatation generator, and K a are
**

the conformal boosts. An obvious linear coordinate representation in terms of D+2

coordinates is

J AB = x[A ∂ B] + M AB , (2.2.2)

where [ ] means antisymmetrization and M AB is the intrinsic (matrix, or coordinate-

independent) part (with the same commutation relations that follow directly for the

orbital part). The usual representation in terms of D coordinates is obtained by

imposing the SO(D,2)-covariant constraints

xA xA = xA ∂ A = M A B xB + dxA = 0 (2.2.3a)

**for some constant d (the canonical dimension, or scale weight). Corresponding to
**

these constraints, which can be solved for everything with a “−” index, are the

“gauge conditions” which determine everything with a “+” index but no “−” index:

∂ + = x+ − 1 = M +a = 0 . (2.2.3b)

2.2. Conformal algebra 11

**This gauge can be obtained by a unitary transformation. The solution to (2.2.3) is
**

then

J +a = ∂ a , J −a = − 12 xb 2 ∂ a + xa xb ∂ b + M a b xb + dxa ,

J −+ = xa ∂ a + d , J ab = x[a ∂ b] + M ab . (2.2.4)

**This realization can also be obtained by the usual coset space methods (see, e.g.,
**

[2.4]), for the space SO(D,2)/ISO(D-1,1)⊗GL(1). The subgroup corresponds to all the

generators except J +a . One way to perform this construction is: First assign the coset

space generators J +a to be partial derivatives ∂ a (since they all commute, according

to the commutation relations which follow from (2.2.2)). We next equate this ﬁrst-

quantized coordinate representation with a second-quantized ﬁeld representation: In

general,

0 = δ xΦ = JxΦ + xJΦ

ˆ

→ J xΦ = JxΦ = −Jˆ xΦ = − xJˆΦ , (2.2.5)

**where J (which acts directly on x|) is expressed in terms of the coordinates and their
**

derivatives (plus “spin” pieces), while Jˆ (which acts directly on |Φ

) is expressed in

terms of the fields Φ and their functional derivatives. The minus sign expresses the

usual relation between active and passive transformations. The structure constants

of the second-quantized algebra have the same sign as the ﬁrst-quantized ones. We

can then solve the “constraint” J +a = −Jˆ+a on x|Φ

as

a Jˆ

xΦ ≡ Φ(x) = UΦ(0) = e−x +a

Φ(0) . (2.2.6)

The other generators can then be determined by evaluating

**JΦ(x) = −JˆΦ(x) → U −1 JUΦ(0) = −U −1 JUΦ(0)
**

ˆ . (2.2.7)

**On the left-hand side, the unitary transformation replaces any ∂ a with a −Jˆ+a (the
**

∂ a itself getting killed by the Φ(0)). On the right-hand side, the transformation gives

terms with x dependence and other J’s ˆ (as determined by the commutator algebra).

(The calculations are performed by expressing the transformation as a sum of multiple

commutators, which in this case has a ﬁnite number of terms.) The net result is

(2.2.4), where d is −Jˆ−+ on Φ(0), M ab is −Jˆab , and J −a can have the additional term

−Jˆ−a . However, Jˆ−a on Φ(0) can be set to zero consistently in (2.2.4), and does

vanish for physically interesting representations.

**From now on, we use ± as in the light-cone notation, not SO(D,2) notation.
**

12 2. GENERAL LIGHT CONE

**The conformal equations of motion are all those which can be obtained from
**

2

pa = 0 by conformal transformations (or, equivalently, the irreducible tensor op-

erator quadratic in conformal generators which includes p2 as a component). Since

conformal theories are a subset of massless ones, the massless equations of motion are

a subset of the conformal ones (i.e., the massless theories satisfy fewer constraints).

In particular, since massless theories are scale invariant but not always invariant un-

der conformal boosts, the equations which contain the generators of conformal boosts

must be dropped.

The complete set of equations of motion for an arbitrary massless representation

of the Poincaré group are thus obtained simply by performing a conformal boost on

the deﬁning equation, p2 = 0 [2.5,6]:

D−2

0 = 12 [K a , p2 ] = 12 {J a b , pb } + 12 {∆, pa } = M a b pb + d − pa . (2.2.8)

2

d is determined by the requirement that the representation be nontrivial (for other

values of d this equation implies p = 0). For nonzero spin (M ab = 0) this equation

implies p2 = 0 by itself. For example, for scalars the equation implies only d =

(D − 2)/2. For a Dirac spinor, M ab = 14 [γ a , γ b ] implies d = (D − 1)/2 and the Dirac

equation (in the form γ a γ · pψ = 0). For a second-rank antisymmetric tensor, we

ﬁnd d = D/2 and Maxwell’s equations. In this covariant approach to solving these

equations, all the solutions are in terms of ﬁeld strengths, not gauge ﬁelds (since the

latter are not unitary representations). We can solve these equations in light-cone

notation: Choosing a reference frame where the only nonvanishing component of the

momentum is p+ , (2.2.8) reduces to the equations M −i = 0 and M −+ = d−(D −2)/2.

The equation M −i = 0 says that the only nonvanishing components are the ones with

as many (lower) “+” indices as possible (and for spinors, project with γ + ), and no

“−” indices. In terms of Young tableaux, this means 1 “+” for each column. M −+

then just counts the number of “+” ’s (plus 1/2 for a γ + -projected spinor index), so

we ﬁnd that d − (D − 2)/2 = the number of columns (+ 1/2 for a spinor). We also

ﬁnd that the on-shell gauge ﬁeld is the representation found by subtracting one box

from each column of the Young tableau, and in the ﬁeld strength those subtracted

indices are associated with factors of momentum.

These results for massless representations can be extended to massive represen-

tations by the standard trick of adding one spatial dimension and constraining the

extra momentum component to be the mass (operator): Writing

a → (a, m) , pm = M , (2.2.9)

2.3. Poincaré algebra 13

**where the index m takes one value, p2 = 0 becomes p2 + M 2 = 0, and (2.2.8) becomes
**

D−2

M a pb + M am M + d −

b

pa = 0 . (2.2.10)

2

The ﬁelds (or states) are now representations of an SO(D,1) spin group generated

by M ab and M am (instead of the usual SO(D-1,1) of just M ab for the massless case).

The ﬁelds additional to those obtained in the massless case (on-shell ﬁeld strengths)

correspond to the on-shell gauge ﬁelds in the massless limit, resulting in a ﬁrst-order

formalism. For example, for spin 1 the additional ﬁeld is the usual vector. For spin

2, the extra ﬁelds correspond to the on-shell, and thus traceless, parts of the Lorentz

connection and metric tensor.

**For ﬁeld theory, we’ll be interested in real representations. For the massive case,
**

since (2.2.9) forces us to work in momentum space with respect to pm , the reality

condition should include an extra factor of the reﬂection operator which reverses the

“m” direction. For example, for tensor ﬁelds, those components with an odd number

of m indices should be imaginary (and those with an even number real).

**In chapt. 4 we’ll show how to obtain the oﬀ-shell ﬁelds, and thus the trace parts,
**

by working directly in terms of the gauge ﬁelds. The method is based on the light-cone

representation of the Poincaré algebra discussed in the next section.

2.3. Poincaré algebra

**In contrast to the above covariant approach to solving (2.2.8,10), we now consider
**

solving them in unitary gauges (such as the light-cone gauge), since in such gauges

the gauge ﬁelds are essentially ﬁeld strengths anyway because the gauge has been

ﬁxed: e.g., for Yang-Mills Aa = ∇+ −1 F +a , since A+ = 0. In such gauges we work

in terms of only the physical degrees of freedom (as in the case of the on-shell ﬁeld

strengths), which satisfy p2 = 0 (unlike the auxiliary degrees of freedom, which satisfy

algebraic equations, and the gauge degrees of freedom, which don’t appear in any ﬁeld

equations).

**In the light-cone formalism, the object is to construct all the Poincaré generators
**

from just the manifest ones of the (D − 2)-dimensional Poincaré subgroup, p+ , and

the coordinates conjugate to these momenta. The light-cone gauge is imposed by the

condition

M +i = 0 , (2.3.1)

14 2. GENERAL LIGHT CONE

**which, when acting on the independent ﬁelds (those with only i indices), says that
**

all ﬁelds with + indices have been set to vanish. The ﬁelds with − indices (auxiliary

ﬁelds) are then determined as usual by the ﬁeld equations: by solving (2.2.8) for M −i .

The solution to the i, +, and − parts of (2.2.8) gives

1

M −i = (M i j pj + kpi ) ,

p+

D−2

M −+ = d − ≡k ,

2

kp2 = 0 . (2.3.2)

**If (2.2.8) is solved without the condition (2.3.1), then M +i can still be removed (and
**

(2.3.2) regained) by a unitary transformation. (In a ﬁrst-quantized formalism, this

corresponds to a gauge choice: see sect. 5.3 for spin 1/2.) The appearance of k is

related to ordering ambiguities, and we can also choose M −+ = 0 by a nonunitary

transformation (a rescaling of the ﬁeld by a power of p+ ). Of course, we also solve

p2 = 0 as

pi 2

p− = − . (2.3.3)

2p+

These equations, together with the gauge condition for M +i , determine all the Poincaré

generators in terms of M ij , pi , p+ , xi , and x− . In the orbital pieces of J ab , x+ can be

set to vanish, since p− is no longer conjugate: i.e., we work at “time” x+ = 0 for the

“hamiltonian” p− , or equivalently in the Schrödinger picture. (Of course, this also

corresponds to removing x+ by a unitary transformation, i.e., a time translation via

p− . This is also a gauge choice in a ﬁrst-quantized formalism: see sect. 5.1.) The

ﬁnal result is

pi 2

pi = i∂ i , p+ = i∂ + , p− = − ,

2p+

J ij = −ix[i pj] + M ij , J +i = ixi p+ , J −+ = −ix− p+ + k ,

pj 2 1

J −i = −ix− pi − ixi + (M i j pj + kpi ) . (2.3.4)

2p+ p+

The generators are (anti)hermitian for the choice k = 12 ; otherwise, the Hilbert space

metric must include a factor of p+ 1−2k , with respect to which all the generators are

pseudo(anti)hermitian. In this light-cone approach to Poincaré representations, where

we work with the fundamental ﬁelds rather than ﬁeld strengths, k = 0 for bosons and

1

2 for fermions (giving the usual dimensions d = 12 (D − 2) for bosons and 12 (D − 1) for

fermions), and thus the metric is p+ for bosons and 1 for fermions, so the light-cone

kinetic operator (metric)·2(i∂ − − p− ) ∼ 2 for bosons and 2 /p+ for fermions.

2.3. Poincaré algebra 15

**This construction of the D-dimensional Poincaré algebra in terms of D−1 coor-
**

dinates is analogous to the construction in the previous section of the D-dimensional

conformal algebra SO(D,2) in terms of D coordinates, except that in the conformal

case (1) we start with D+2 coordinates instead of D, (2) x’s and p’s are switched,

and (3) the further constraint x · p = 0 and gauge condition x+ = 1 are used. Thus,

J ab of (2.3.4) becomes J AB of (2.2.4) if x− is replaced with −(1/p+ )xj pj , p+ is set

to 1, and we then switch p → x, x → −p. Just as the conformal representation

(2.2.4) can be obtained from the Poincaré representation (in 2 extra dimensions, by

i → a) (2.3.4) by eliminating one coordinate (x− ), (2.3.4) can be reobtained from

(2.2.4) by reintroducing this coordinate: First choose d = −ix− p+ + k. Then switch

xi → pi , pi → −xi . Finally, make the (almost unitary) transformation generated by

exp[−ipi xi (ln p+ )], which takes xi → p+ xi , pi → pi /p+ , x− → x− + pi xi /p+ .

**To extend these results to arbitrary representations, we use the trick (2.2.9), or
**

directly solve (2.2.10), giving the light-cone form of the Poincaré algebra for arbitrary

representations: (2.3.4) becomes

pi 2 + M 2

pi = i∂ i , p+ = i∂ + , p− = − ,

2p+

J ij = −ix[i pj] + M ij , J +i = ixi p+ , J −+ = −ix− p+ + k ,

pj 2 + M 2 1

J −i = −ix− pi − ixi + (M i j pj + M im M + kpi ) . (2.3.5)

2p+ p+

Thus, massless irreducible representations of the Poincaré group ISO(D−1,1) are ir-

reducible representations of the spin subgroup SO(D−2) (generated by M ij ) which

also depend on the coordinates (xi , x− ), and irreducible massive ones are irreducible

representations of the spin subgroup SO(D−1) (generated by (M ij , M im )) for some

nonvanishing constant M. Notice that the introduction of masses has modiﬁed only

p− and J −i . These are also the only generators modiﬁed when interactions are intro-

duced, where they become nonlinear in the ﬁelds.

**The light-cone representation of the Poincaré algebra will be used in sect. 3.4
**

to derive BRST algebras, used for enforcing unitarity in covariant formalisms, which

in turn will be used extensively to derive gauge-invariant actions for particles and

strings in the following chapters. The general light-cone analysis of this section will

be applied to the special case of the free string in chapt. 7.

16 2. GENERAL LIGHT CONE

2.4. Interactions

**For interacting theories, the derivation of the Poincaré algebra is not so general,
**

but depends on the details of the particular type of interactions in the theory. We

again consider the case of Yang-Mills. Since only p− and J −i obtain interacting

contributions, we consider the derivation of only those operators. The expression for

p− Ai is then given directly by the ﬁeld equation of Ai

0 = [∇a , F ai ] = [∇j , F ji] + [∇+ , F −i] + [∇− , F +i] = [∇j , F ji] + 2[∇+ , F −i] + [∇i , F +− ]

1 j

→ p− Ai = [∇i , A− ] − [∇ , F ji] + [∇i , p+ A− ] , (2.4.1)

2p+

where we have used the Bianchi identity [∇[+ , F −i] ] = 0. This expression for p− is

also used in the orbital piece of J −i Aj . In the spin piece M −i we start with the

covariant-formalism equation M −i Aj = −δ ij A− , substitute the solution to A− ’s ﬁeld

equation, and then add a gauge transformation to cancel the change of gauge induced

by the covariant-formalism transformation M −i A+ = Ai . The net result is that in

the light-cone formalism

1

J −i Aj = −i(x− pi − xi p− )Aj − δ ij A− + [∇j , Ai ] , (2.4.2)

p+

**with A− given by (2.1.7) and p− Aj by (2.4.1). In the abelian case, these expressions
**

agree with those obtained by a diﬀerent method in (2.3.4). All transformations can

then be written in functional second-quantized form as

δ

δ=− dD−2 xi dx− tr (δAi ) → [δ, Ai ] = −(δAi ) . (2.4.3)

δAi

The minus sign is as in (2.2.5) for relating ﬁrst- and second-quantized operators.

**As an alternative, we can consider canonical second-quantization, which has cer-
**

tain advantages in the light cone, and has an interesting generalization in the covariant

case (see sect. 3.4). From the light-cone lagrangian

L = −i

.

Φ† p+ Φ − H(Φ) , (2.4.4)

where

. is the “time”-derivative i∂/∂x+ , we ﬁnd that the ﬁelds have equal-time

commutators similar to those in nonrelativistic ﬁeld theory:

1

[Φ† (1), Φ(2)] = − δ(2 − 1) , (2.4.5)

2p+2

2.4. Interactions 17

**where the δ-function is over the transverse coordinates and x− (and may include a
**

Kronecker δ in indices, if Φ has components). Unlike nonrelativistic ﬁeld theory, the

ﬁelds satisfy a reality condition, in coordinate space:

Φ* = ΩΦ , (2.4.6)

**where Ω is the identity or some symmetric, unitary matrix (the “charge conjugation”
**

matrix; * here is the hermitian conjugate, or adjoint, in the operator sense, i.e., unlike

†

, it excludes matrix transposition). As in quantum mechanics (or the Poisson bracket

approach to classical mechanics), the generators can then be written as functions of

the dynamical variables:

1

V = dz1 · · · dzn V (n) (z1 , . . . , zn )Φ(z1 ) · · · Φ(zn ) , (2.4.7)

n n!

**where the arguments z stand for either coordinates or momenta and the V’s are the
**

vertex functions, which are just functions of the coordinates (not operators). Without

loss of generality they can be chosen to be cyclically symmetric in the ﬁelds (or totally

symmetric, if group-theory indices are also permuted). (Any asymmetric piece can

be seen to contribute to a lower-point function by the use of (2.4.5,6).) In light-cone

theories the coordinate-space integrals are over all coordinates except x+ . The action

of the second-quantized operator V on ﬁelds is calculated using (2.4.5):

1 1

[V, Φ(z1 )† ] = − dz2 · · · dzn V (n) (z1 , . . . , zn )Φ(z2 ) · · · Φ(zn ) .

2p+1 n (n − 1)!

(2.4.8)

A particular case of the above equations is the free case, where the operator V is

quadratic in Φ. We will then generally write the second-quantized operator V in

terms of a ﬁrst-quantized operator V with a single integration:

V = dz Φ† p+ VΦ → [V, Φ] = −VΦ . (2.4.9)

**This can be checked to relate to (2.4.7) as V (2) (z1 , z2 ) = 2Ω1 p+1 V1 δ(2 − 1) (with
**

the symmetry of V (2) imposing corresponding conditions on the operator V). In the

interacting case, the generalization of (2.4.9) is

1

V = dz Φ† 2p+ (VΦ) , (2.4.10)

N

where N is just the number of ﬁelds in any particular term. (In the free case N = 2,

giving (2.4.9).)

18 2. GENERAL LIGHT CONE

**For example, for Yang-Mills, we ﬁnd
**

2

p− = 1

4 (F ij ) + 12 (p+ A− )2 , (2.4.11a)

2

J −i = ix− (p+ Aj )(pi Aj ) + ixi 1

4 (F jk ) + 12 (p+ A− )2 − Ai p+ A− . (2.4.11b)

**(The other generators follow trivially from (2.4.9).) p− is minus the hamiltonian H
**

(as in the free case (2.1.2,4,9)), as also follows from performing the usual Legendre

transformation on the lagrangian.

**In general, all the explicit xi -dependence of all the Poincaré generators can be de-
**

termined from the commutation relations with the momenta (translation generators)

pi . Furthermore, since only p− and J−i get contributions from interactions, we need

consider only those. Let’s ﬁrst consider the “hamiltonian” p− . Since it commutes

with pi , it is translation invariant. In terms of the vertex functions, this translates

into the condition:

(p1 + · · · + pn )V (n) (p1 , . . . , pn ) = 0 , (2.4.12)

**where the indicates Fourier transformation with respect to the coordinate-space
**

expression, implying that most generally

V (n) (p1 , . . . , pn ) = f(p

˜ 1 , . . . , pn−1 )δ(p1 + · · · + pn ) , (2.4.13)

**or in coordinate space
**

(n) ∂ ∂

V (x1 , . . . , xn ) = f˜ i ,...,i δ(x1 − xn ) · · · δ(xn−1 − xn )

∂x1 ∂xn−1

= f (x1 − xn , . . . , xn−1 − xn ) . (2.4.14)

**In this coordinate representation one can see that when V is inserted back in (2.4.7)
**

we have the usual expression for a translation-invariant vertex used in ﬁeld theory.

Namely, ﬁelds at the same point in coordinate space, with derivatives acting on them,

are multiplied and integrated over coordinate space. In this form it is clear that there

is no explicit coordinate dependence in the vertex. As can be seen in (2.4.14), the most

general translationally invariant vertex involves an arbitrary function of coordinate

diﬀerences, denoted as f above. For the case of bosonic coordinates, the function

f˜ may contain inverse derivatives (that is, translational invariance does not imply

locality.) For the case of anticommuting coordinates (see sect. 2.6) the situation is

simpler: There is no locality issue, since the most general function f can always be

obtained from a function f˜ polynomial in derivatives, acting on δ-functions.

2.5. Graphs 19

We now consider J−i . From the commutation relations we ﬁnd:

[pi , J−j } = −ηij p− → [J−i , Φ] = ixi [p− , Φ] + [∆J−i , Φ] , (2.4.15)

**where ∆J−i is translationally invariant (commutes with pi ), and can therefore be
**

represented without explicit xi ’s. For the Yang-Mills case, this can be seen to agree

with (2.4.2) or (2.4.11).

This light-cone analysis will be applied to interacting strings in chapt. 10.

2.5. Graphs

Feynman graphs for any interacting light-cone ﬁeld theory can be derived as in

covariant ﬁeld theory, but an alternative not available there is to use a nonrelativistic

style of perturbation (i.e., just expanding eiHt in H IN T ), since the ﬁeld equations are

now linear in the time derivative p− = i∂/∂x+ = i∂/∂τ . (As in sect. 2.1, but unlike

sects. 2.3 and 2.4, we now use p− to refer to this partial derivative, as in covariant

formalisms, while −H refers to the corresponding light-cone Poincaré generator, the

two being equal on shell.) This formalism can be derived straightforwardly from the

usual Feynman rules (after choosing the light-cone gauge and eliminating auxiliary

ﬁelds) by simply Fourier transforming from p− to x+ = τ (but keeping all other

momenta):

∞

dp− −ip− τ 1 1 iτ (pi 2 +m2 )/2p+

e = −iΘ(p+ τ ) e . (2.5.1)

−∞ 2π 2 2

2p+ p− + pi + m + i

2|p+ |

(Θ(u) = 1 for u > 1, 0 for u < 1.) We now draw all graphs to represent the τ

coordinate, so that graphs with diﬀerent τ -orderings of the vertices must be considered

as separate contributions. Then we direct all the propagators toward increasing τ , so

the change in τ between the ends of the propagator (as appears in (2.5.1)) is always

positive (i.e., the orientation of the momenta is deﬁned to be toward increasing τ ).

We next Wick rotate τ → iτ . We also introduce external line factors which transform

H back to −p− on external lines. The resulting rules are:

(a) Assign a τ to each vertex, and order them with respect to τ .

(b) Assign (p− , p+ , pi ) to each external line, but only (p+ , pi ) to each internal line, all

directed toward increasing τ . Enforce conservation of (p+ , pi ) at each vertex, and

total conservation of p− .

(c) Give each internal line a propagator

1 −τ (pi 2 +m2 )/2p+

Θ(p+ ) e

2p+

20 2. GENERAL LIGHT CONE

**for the (p+ , pi ) of that line and the positive diﬀerence τ in the proper time between
**

the ends.

**(d) Give each external line a factor
**

eτ p−

for the p− of that line and the τ of the vertex to which it connects.

(e) Read oﬀ the vertices from the action as usual.

(f) Integrate ∞

dτ

0

**for each τ diﬀerence between consecutive (though not necessarily connected) ver-
**

tices. (Performing just this integration gives the usual old-fashioned perturbation

theory in terms of energy denominators [2.1], except that our external-line factors

diﬀer oﬀ shell in order to reproduce the usual Feynman rules.)

(g) Integrate

∞

dp+ dD−2pi

−∞ (2π)D−1

for each loop.

The use of such methods for strings will be discussed in chapt. 10.

2.6. Covariantized light cone

**There is a covariant formalism for any ﬁeld theory that has the interesting prop-
**

erty that it can be obtained directly and easily from the light-cone formalism, without

any additional gauge-ﬁxing procedure [2.7]. Although this covariant gauge is not as

general or convenient as the usual covariant gauges (in particular, it sometimes has

additional oﬀ-shell infrared divergences), it bears strong relationship to both the light-

cone and BRST formalisms, and can be used as a conceptual bridge. The basic idea

of the formalism is: Consider a covariant theory in D dimensions. This is equivalent

to a covariant theory in (D + 2) − 2 dimensions, where the notation indicates the ad-

dition of 2 extra commuting coordinates (1 space, 1 time) and 2 (real) anticommuting

coordinates, with a similar extension of Lorentz indices [2.8]. (A similar use of OSp

groups in gauge-ﬁxed theories, but applied to only the Lorentz indices and not the co-

ordinates, appears in [2.9].) This extends the Poincaré group ISO(D−1,1) to a graded

analog IOSp(D,2|2). In practice, this means we just take the light-cone transverse in-

dices to be graded, watching out for signs introduced by the corresponding change in

2.6. Covariantized light cone 21

**statistics, and replace the Euclidean SO(D-2) metric with the corresponding graded
**

OSp(D-1,1|2) metric:

i = (a, α) , δ ij → η ij = (η ab , C αβ ) , (2.6.1)

where η ab is the usual Lorentz metric and

C αβ = C βα = σ 2 (2.6.2)

is the Sp(2) metric, which satisﬁes the useful identity

C αβ C γδ = δ [α γ δ β] δ → A[α B β] = C αβ C γδ Aγ B δ . (2.6.3)

The OSp metric is used to raise and lower graded indices as:

xi = η ij xj , xi = xj η ji ; η ik η jk = δ j i . (2.6.4)

**The sign conventions are that adjacent indices are contracted with the contravariant
**

(up) index ﬁrst. The equivalence follows from the fact that, for momentum-space

Feynman graphs, the trees will be the same if we constrain the 2 − 2 extra “ghost”

momenta to vanish on external lines (since they’ll then vanish on internal lines by

momentum conservation); and the loops are then the same because, when the mo-

mentum integrands are written as gaussians, the determinant factors coming from the

2 extra anticommuting dimensions exactly cancel those from the 2 extra commuting

ones. For example, using the proper-time form (“Schwinger parametrization”) of the

propagators (cf. (2.5.1)),

∞

1 2 +m2 )

= dτ e−τ (p , (2.6.5)

p + m2

2 0

all momentum integrations take the form

1 D+2 2 −f (2p+ p− +pa pa +pα pα +m2 )

2

= dD p e−f (p pa +m )

a

d p d pα e

π

D/2

π 2

= e−f m , (2.6.6)

f

**where f is a function of the proper-time parameters.
**

The covariant theory is thus obtained from the light-cone one by the substitution

(p− , p+ ; pi ) → (p− , p+ ; pa , pα ) , (2.6.7a)

22 2. GENERAL LIGHT CONE

where

p− = pα = 0 (2.6.7b)

**on physical states. It’s not necessary to set p+ = 0, since it only appears in the combi-
**

nation p− p+ in OSp(D,2|2)-invariant products. Thus, p+ can be chosen arbitrarily on

external lines (but should be nonvanishing due to the appearance of factors of 1/p+ ).

We now interpret x± and xα as the unphysical coordinates. Vector indices on ﬁelds

are treated similarly: Having been reduced to transverse ones by the light-cone for-

malism, they now become covariant vector indices with 2 additional anticommuting

values ((2.6.1)). For example, in Yang-Mills the vector ﬁeld becomes the usual vector

ﬁeld plus two anticommuting scalars Aα , corresponding to Faddeev-Popov ghosts.

The graphical rules become:

(a) Assign a τ to each vertex, and order them with respect to τ .

**(b) Assign (p+ , pa ) to each external line, but (p+ , pa , pα ) to each internal line, all
**

directed toward increasing τ . Enforce conservation of (p+ , pa , pα ) at each vertex

(with pα = 0 on external lines).

(c) Give each internal line a propagator

1 −τ (pa 2 +pαpα +m2)/2p+

Θ(p+) e

2p+

**for the (p+ , pa , pα ) of that line and the positive diﬀerence τ in the proper time between
**

the ends.

**(d) Give each external line a factor
**

1 .

(e) Read oﬀ the vertices from the action as usual.

(f) Integrate ∞

dτ

0

**for each τ diﬀerence between consecutive (though not necessarily connected) ver-
**

tices.

(g) Integrate

d 2 pα

Exercises 23

for each loop (remembering that for any anticommuting variable θ, dθ 1 = 0,

2

dθ θ = 1, θ = 0).

(h) Integrate ∞

2 dp+

−∞

for each loop.

(i) Integrate

dD p

(2π)D

for each loop.

**For theories with only scalars, integrating just (f-h) gives the usual Feynman
**

graphs (although it may be necessary to add several graphs due to the τ -ordering of

non-adjacent vertices). Besides the correspondence of the τ parameters to the usual

Schwinger parameters, after integrating out just the anticommuting parameters the

p+ parameters resemble Feynman parameters.

These methods can also be applied to strings (chapt. 10).

Exercises

**(1) Find the light-cone formulation of QED. Compare with the Coulomb gauge for-
**

mulation.

**(2) Derive the commutation relations of the conformal group from (2.2.2). Check
**

that (2.2.4) satisﬁes them. Evaluate the commutators implicit in (2.2.7) for each

generator.

**(3) Find the Lorentz transformation M ab of a vector (consistent with the conventions
**

of (2.2.2)). (Hint: Look at the transformations of x and p.) Find the explicit

form of (2.2.8) for that case. Solve these equations of motion. To what simpler

representation is this equivalent? Study this equivalence with the light-cone anal-

ysis given below (2.2.8). Generalize the analysis to totally antisymmetric tensors

of arbitrary rank.

**(4) Repeat problem (3) for the massive case. Looking at the separate SO(D-1,1)
**

representations contained in the SO(D,1) representations, show that ﬁrst-order

formalisms in terms of the usual ﬁelds have been obtained, and ﬁnd the corre-

sponding second-order formulations.

24 2. GENERAL LIGHT CONE

**(5) Check that the explicit forms of the Poincaré generators given in (2.3.5) satisfy
**

the correct algebra (see problem (2)). Find the explicit transformations acting

on the vector representation of the spin group SO(D-1). Compare with (2.4.1-2).

**(6) Derive (2.4.11). Compare that p− with the light-cone hamiltonian which follows
**

from (2.1.5).

**(7) Calculate the 4-point amplitude in φ3 theory with light-cone graphs, and com-
**

pare with the usual covariant Feynman graph calculation. Calculate the 1-loop

propagator correction in the same theory using the covariantized light-cone rules,

and again compare with ordinary Feynman graphs, paying special attention to

Feynman parameters.

3.1. Gauge invariance and constraints 25

3. GENERAL BRST

3.1. Gauge invariance and constraints

**In the previous chapter we saw that a gauge theory can be described either in a
**

manifestly covariant way by using gauge degrees of freedom, or in a manifestly unitary

way (with only physical degrees of freedom) with Poincaré transformations which are

nonlinear (in both coordinates and ﬁelds). In the gauge-covariant formalism there is a

D-dimensional manifest Lorentz covariance, and in the light-cone formalism a D − 2-

dimensional one, and in each case a corresponding number of degrees of freedom.

There is also an intermediate formalism, more familiar from nonrelativistic theory:

The hamiltonian formalism has a D − 1-dimensional manifest Lorentz covariance (ro-

tations). As in the light-cone formalism, the notational separation of coordinates

into time and space suggests a particular type of gauge condition: temporal (time-

like) gauges, where time-components of gauge ﬁelds are set to vanish. In chapt. 5,

this formalism will be seen to have a particular advantage for ﬁrst-quantization of

relativistic theories: In the classical mechanics of relativistic theories, the coordinates

are treated as functions of a “proper time” so that the usual time coordinate can be

treated on an equal footing with the space coordinates. Thus, canonical quantization

with respect to this unobservable (proper) “time” coordinate doesn’t destroy manifest

Poincaré covariance, so use of a hamiltonian formalism can be advantageous, partic-

ularly in deriving BRST transformations, and the corresponding second-quantized

theory, where the proper-time doesn’t appear anyway.

We’ll ﬁrst consider Yang-Mills, and then generalize to arbitrary gauge theories.

In order to study the temporal gauge, instead of the decomposition (2.1.1) we simply

separate into time and spatial components

a = (0, i) , A · B = −A0 B 0 + Ai B i . (3.1.1)

The lagrangian (2.1.5) is then

L = 14 F ij 2 − 12 (p0 Ai − [∇i , A0 ])2 . (3.1.2)

26 3. GENERAL BRST

**The gauge condition
**

A0 = 0 (3.1.3)

transforms under a gauge transformation with a time derivative: Under an inﬁnites-

imal transformation about A0 = 0,

δA0 ≈ ∂ 0 λ , (3.1.4)

**so the Faddeev-Popov ghosts are propagating. Furthermore, the gauge transformation
**

(3.1.4) does not allow the gauge choice (3.1.3) everywhere: For example, if we choose

periodic boundary conditions in time (to simplify the argument), then

∞

δ dx0 A0 ≈ 0 . (3.1.5)

−∞

**A0 can then be ﬁxed by an appropriate initial condition, e.g., A0 |x0 =0 = 0, but then
**

the corresponding ﬁeld equation is lost. Therefore, we must impose

δS

0= = −[∇i , F 0i ] = −[∇i , p0 Ai ] at x0 = 0 (3.1.6)

δA0

as an initial condition. Another way to understand this is to note that gauge ﬁxing

eliminates only degrees of freedom which don’t occur in the lagrangian, and thus

can eliminate only redundant equations of motion: Since [∇i , F 0i ] = 0 followed from

the gauge-invariant action, the fact that it doesn’t follow after setting A0 = 0 means

some piece of A0 can’t truly be gauged away, and so we must compensate by imposing

the equation of motion for that piece. Due to the original gauge invariance, (3.1.6)

then holds for all time from the remaining ﬁeld equations: In the gauge (3.1.3), the

lagrangian (3.1.2) becomes

L = 12 Ai 2 Ai − 12 (pi Ai )2 + [Ai , Aj ]pi Aj + 14 [Ai , Aj ]2 , (3.1.7)

**and the covariant divergence of the implied ﬁeld equations yields the time derivative
**

of (3.1.6). (This follows from the identity [∇b , [∇a , F ab ]] = 0 upon applying the

ﬁeld equations [∇a , F ia ] = 0. In unitary gauges, the corresponding constraint can be

derived without time derivatives, and hence is implied by the remaining ﬁeld equations

under suitable boundary conditions.) Equivalently, if we notice that (3.1.4) does not

ﬁx the gauge completely, but leaves time-independent gauge transformations, we need

to impose a constraint on the initial states to make them gauge invariant. But the

generator of the residual gauge transformations on the remaining ﬁelds Ai is

δ

G(xi ) = ∇i , i , (3.1.8)

δAi

3.1. Gauge invariance and constraints 27

**which is the same as the constraint (3.1.6) under canonical quantization of (3.1.7).
**

Thus, the same operator (1) gives the constraint which must be imposed in addition to

the ﬁeld equations because too much of A0 was dropped, and (2) (its transpose) gives

the gauge transformations remaining because they left the gauge-ﬁxing function A0

invariant. The fact that these are identical is not surprising, since in Faddeev-Popov

quantization the latter corresponds to the Faddeev-Popov ghost while the former

corresponds to the antighost.

These properties appear very naturally in a hamiltonian formulation: We start

.

again with the gauge-invariant lagrangian (3.1.2). Since A0 has no time-derivative

terms, we Legendre transform with respect to just Ai . The result is

SH

1

= 2

dD x tr LH ,

.

LH = Ai Πi − H , H = H0 + A0 iG ,

g

H0 = 12 Πi 2 − 14 F ij 2 , G = [∇i , Πi ] , (3.1.9)

where

. = ∂ 0 . As in ordinary nonrelativistic classical mechanics, eliminating the

momentum Πi from the hamiltonian form of the action (ﬁrst order in time deriva-

tives) by its equation of motion gives back the lagrangian form (second order in time

derivatives). Note that A0 appears linearly, as a Lagrange multiplier.

**The gauge-invariant hamiltonian formalism of (3.1.9) can be generalized [3.1]:
**

Consider a lagrangian of the form

.

LH = z M eM A (z)π A − H , H = H0 (z, π) + λi iG i (z, π) , (3.1.10)

**where z, π, and λ are the variables, representing “coordinates,” covariant “momenta,”
**

and Lagrange multipliers, respectively. They depend on the time, and also have

indices (which may include continuous indices, such as spatial coordinates). e, which

is a function of z, has been introduced to allow for cases with a symmetry (such

as supersymmetry) under which dz M eM A (but not dz itself) is covariant, so that π

will be covariant, and thus a more convenient variable in terms of which to express

the constraints G. When H0 commutes with G (quantum mechanically, or in terms

of Poisson brackets for a classical treatment), this action has a gauge invariance

generated by G, for which λ is the gauge ﬁeld:

δ(z, π) = [ζ iG i , (z, π)] ,

δ

∂

− λi G i = 0

→

.

(δλi )G i = ζ i G i + [λj G j , ζ iG i ] , (3.1.11)

∂t

28 3. GENERAL BRST

**where the gauge transformation of λ has been determined by the invariance of the
**

“total” time-derivative d/dt = ∂/∂t + iH. (More generally, if [ζ iG i , H0 ] = f i iG i , then

δλi has an extra term −f i .) Using the chain rule ((d/dt) on f (t, q k (t)) equals ∂/∂t +

.

q k (∂/∂q k )) to evaluate the time derivative of G, we ﬁnd the lagrangian transforms as

a total derivative

d M

δLH = (δz )eM A π A − ζ i iG i , (3.1.12)

dt

which is the usual transformation law for an action with local symmetry generated

by the current G. When H0 vanishes (as in relativistic mechanics), the special case

ζ i = ζλi of the transformations of (3.1.11) are τ reparametrizations, generated by the

hamiltonian λi G i . In general, after canonical quantization, the wave function satisﬁes

the Schrödinger equation ∂/∂t + iH0 = 0, as well as the constraints G = 0 (and thus

∂/∂t + iH = 0 in any gauge choice for λ). Since [H0 , G] = 0, G = 0 at t = 0 implies

G = 0 for all t.

**In some cases (such as Yang-Mills), the Lorentz covariant form of the action can
**

be obtained by eliminating all the π’s. A covariant ﬁrst-order form can generally be

obtained by introducing additional auxiliary degrees of freedom which enlarge π to

make it Lorentz covariant. For example, for Yang-Mills we can rewrite (3.1.9) as

LH = 12 G0i 2 − G0 i F 0i + 14 F ij 2

→ L1 = − 14 Gab 2 + Gab F ab , (3.1.13)

**where G0i = iΠi , and the independent (auxiliary) ﬁelds Gab also include Gij , which
**

have been introduced to put 14 F ij 2 into ﬁrst-order form and thus make the lagrangian

manifestly Lorentz covariant. Eliminating Gij by their ﬁeld equations gives back the

hamiltonian form.

**Many examples will be given in chapts. 5-6 for relativistic ﬁrst-quantization,
**

where H0 vanishes, and thus the Schrödinger equation implies the wave function is

proper-time-independent (i.e., we require H0 = 0 because the proper time is not

physically observable). Here we give an interesting example in D=2 which will also

be useful for strings. Consider a single ﬁeld A with canonical momentum P and

choose

iG = 14 (P + A )2 , H0 = 14 (P − A )2 , (3.1.14)

where is the derivative with respect to the 1 space coordinate (which acts as the

index M or i from above). From the algebra of P ± A , it’s easy to check, at least

at the Poisson bracket level, that the G algebra closes and H0 is invariant. (This

3.2. IGL(1) 29

**algebra, with particular boundary conditions, will be important in string theory: See
**

chapt. 8. Note that P + A does not form an algebra, so its square must be used.)

The transformation laws (3.1.11) are found to be

δA = ζ 12 (P + A ) ,

. ←→

δλ = ζ − λ ∂ 1 ζ . (3.1.15)

**In the gauge λ = 1 the action becomes the usual hamiltonian one for a massless
**

scalar, but the constraint implies P + A = 0, which means that modes propagate

only to the right and not the left. The lagrangian form again results from eliminating

P , and after the redeﬁnitions

1−λ √ 1

λ̂ = 2 , ζ̂ = 2 ζ , (3.1.16)

1+λ 1+λ

we ﬁnd [3.2]

L = −(∂ + A)(∂ − A) + 12 λ̂(∂ − A)2 ;

←→

δA = ζ̂∂ − A , δ λ̂ = 2∂ + ζ̂ + ζ̂ ∂ − λ̂ ; (3.1.17)

where ∂ ± are deﬁned as in sect. 2.1.

**The gauge ﬁxing (including Faddeev-Popov ghosts) and initial condition can be
**

described in a very concise way by the BRST method. The basic idea is to construct

a symmetry relating the Faddeev-Popov ghosts to the unphysical modes of the gauge

ﬁeld. For example, in Yang-Mills only D − 2 Lorentz components of the gauge ﬁeld

are physical, so the Lorentz-gauge D-component gauge ﬁeld requires 2 Faddeev-Popov

ghosts while the temporal-gauge D − 1-component ﬁeld requires only 1. The BRST

symmetry rotates the additional gauge-ﬁeld components into the FP ghosts, and vice

versa. Since the FP ghosts are anticommuting, the generator of this symmetry must

be, also.

3.2. IGL(1)

**We will ﬁnd that the methods of Becchi, Rouet, Stora, and Tyutin [3.3] are the
**

most useful way not only to perform quantization in Lorentz-covariant and general

nonunitary gauges, but also to derive gauge-invariant theories. BRST quantization is

a more general way of quantizing gauge theories than either canonical or path-integral

(Faddeev-Popov), because it (1) allows more general gauges, (2) gives the Slavnov-

Taylor identities (conditions for unitarity) directly (they’re just the Ward identities

for BRST invariance), and (3) can separate the gauge-invariant part of a gauge-ﬁxed

30 3. GENERAL BRST

**action. It is deﬁned by the conditions: (1) BRST transformations form a global group
**

with a single (abelian) anticommuting generator Q. The group property then implies

Q2 = 0 for closure. (2) Q acts on physical ﬁelds as a gauge transformation with the

gauge parameter replaced by the (real) ghost. (3) Q on the (real) antighost gives a

BRST auxiliary ﬁeld (necessary for closure of the algebra oﬀ shell). Nilpotence of Q

then implies that the auxiliary ﬁeld is BRST invariant. Physical states are deﬁned

to be those which are BRST invariant (modulo null states, which can be expressed

as Q on something) and have vanishing ghost number (the number of ghosts minus

antighosts).

**There are two types of BRST formalisms: (1) ﬁrst-quantized-style BRST, origi-
**

nally found in string theory [3.4] but also applicable to ordinary ﬁeld theory, which

contains all the ﬁeld equations as well as the gauge transformations; and (2) second-

quantized-style BRST, the original form of BRST, which contains only the gauge

transformations, corresponding in a hamiltonian formalism to those ﬁeld equations

(constraints) found from varying the time components of the gauge ﬁelds. However,

we’ll ﬁnd (in sect. 4.4) that, after restriction to a certain subset of the ﬁelds, BRST1 is

equivalent to BRST2. (It’s the BRST variation of the additional ﬁelds of BRST1 that

leads to the ﬁeld equations for the physical ﬁelds.) The BRST2 transformations were

originally found from Yang-Mills theory. We will ﬁrst derive the YM BRST2 transfor-

mations, and by a simple generalization ﬁnd BRST operators for arbitrary theories,

applicable to BRST1 or BRST2 and to lagrangian or hamiltonian formalisms.

**In the general case, there are two forms for the BRST operators, correspond-
**

ing to diﬀerent classes of gauges. The gauges commonly used in ﬁeld theory fall

into three classes: (1) unitary (Coulomb, Arnowitt-Fickler/axial, light-cone) gauges,

where the ghosts are nonpropagating, and the constraints are solved explicitly (since

they contain no time derivatives); (2) temporal/timelike gauges, where the ghosts have

equations of motion ﬁrst-order in time derivatives (making them canonically conju-

gate to the antighosts); and (3) Lorentz (Landau, Fermi-Feynman) gauges, where

the ghost equations are second-order (so ghosts are independent of antighosts), and

the Nakanishi-Lautrup auxiliary ﬁelds [3.5] (Lagrange multipliers for the gauge con-

ditions) are canonically conjugate to the auxiliary time-components of the gauge

ﬁelds. Unitary gauges have only physical polarizations; temporal gauges have an

additional pair of unphysical polarizations of opposite statistics for each gauge gener-

ator; Lorentz gauges have two pairs. In unitary gauges the BRST operator vanishes

identically; in temporal gauges it is constructed from group generators, or constraints,

3.2. IGL(1) 31

**multiplied by the corresponding ghosts, plus terms for nilpotence; in Lorentz gauges
**

it has an extra “abelian” term consisting of the products of the second set of unphys-

ical ﬁelds. Temporal-gauge BRST is deﬁned in terms of a ghost number operator in

addition to the BRST operator, which itself has ghost number 1. We therefore refer

to this formalism by the corresponding symmetry group with two generators, IGL(1).

Lorentz-gauge BRST has also an antiBRST operator [3.6], and this and BRST trans-

form as an “isospin” doublet, giving the larger group ISp(2), which can be extended

further to OSp(1,1|2) [2.3,3.7]. Although the BRST2 OSp operators are generally

of little value (only the IGL is required for quantization), the BRST1 OSp gives a

powerful method for obtaining free gauge-invariant formalisms for arbitrary (particle

or string) ﬁeld theories. In particular, for arbitrary representations of the Poincaré

group a certain OSp(1,1|2) can be extended to IOSp(D,2|2) [2.3], which is derived

from (but does not directly correspond to quantization in) the light-cone gauge.

**One simple way to formulate anticommuting symmetries (such as supersymme-
**

try) is through the use of anticommuting coordinates [3.8]. We therefore extend

spacetime to include one extra, anticommuting coordinate, corresponding to the one

anticommuting symmetry:

a → (a, α) (3.2.1)

**for all vector indices, including those on coordinates, with Fermi statistics for all
**

quantities with an odd number of anticommuting indices. (α takes only one value.)

Covariant derivatives and gauge transformations are then deﬁned by the correspond-

ing generalization of (2.1.5b), and ﬁeld strengths with graded commutators (commu-

tators or anticommutators, according to the statistics). However, unlike supersym-

metry, the extra coordinate does not represent extra physical degrees of freedom, and

so we constrain all ﬁeld strengths with anticommuting indices to vanish [3.9]: For

Yang-Mills,

F αa = F αβ = 0 , (3.2.2a)

**so that gauge-invariant quantities can be constructed only from the usual F ab . When
**

Yang-Mills is coupled to matter ﬁelds φ, we similarly have the constraints

∇ α φ = ∇α ∇a φ = 0 , (3.2.2b)

**and these in fact imply (3.2.2a) (consider {∇α , ∇β } and [∇α , ∇a ] acting on φ). These
**

constraints can be solved easily:

F αa = 0 → pα Aa = [∇a , Aα ] ,

32 3. GENERAL BRST

F αβ = 0 → pα Aβ = − 12 {Aα , Aβ } = −Aα Aβ ;

∇α φ = 0 → pα φ = −Aα φ . (3.2.3)

**(In the second line we have used the fact that α takes only one value.) Deﬁning “ | ”
**

to mean |xα =0 , we now interpret Aa | as the usual gauge ﬁeld, iAα | as the FP ghost,

and the BRST operator Q as Q(ψ|) = (pα ψ)|. (Similarly, φ| is the usual matter

ﬁeld.) Then ∂ α ∂ β = 0 (since α takes only one value and ∂ α is anticommuting) implies

nilpotence

Q2 = 0 . (3.2.4)

**In a hamiltonian approach [3.10] these transformations are suﬃcient to perform quan-
**

tization in a temporal gauge, but for the lagrangian approach or Lorentz gauges we

also need the FP antighost and Nakanishi-Lautrup auxiliary ﬁeld, which we deﬁne in

A|

terms of an unconstrained scalar ﬁeld A: is the antighost, and

B = (pα iA)| (3.2.5)

**is the auxiliary ﬁeld.
**

The BRST transformations (3.2.3) can be represented in operator form as

∂ ∂

Q = C i G i + 12 C j C i f ij k k

− iB i , (3.2.6a)

∂C ∂C i

where i is a combined space(time)/internal-symmetry index, C is the FP ghost, C is

the FP antighost, B is the NL auxiliary ﬁeld, and the action on the physical ﬁelds is

given by the constraint/gauge-transformation G satisfying the algebra

[G i , G j } = f ij k G k , (3.2.6b)

**where we have generalized to graded algebras with graded commutator [ , } (com-
**

mutator or anticommutator, as appropriate). In this case,

δ

G = ∇, ·i , (3.2.7)

δA

**where the structure constants in (3.2.6b) are the usual group structure constants
**

and

times δ-functions in the coordinates. Q of (3.2.6a) is antihermitian when C, C,

B are hermitian and G is antihermitian, and is nilpotent (3.2.4) as a consequence of

(3.2.6b). Since C and B appear only in the last term in (3.2.6a), these properties

also hold if that term is dropped. (In the notation of (3.2.1-5), the ﬁelds A and A are

independent.)

3.2. IGL(1) 33

**When [G i , f jk l } = 0, (3.2.6a) still gives Q2 = 0. However, when the gauge
**

invariance has a gauge invariance of its own, i.e., Λi G i = 0 for some nontrivial Λ

depending on the physical variables implicit in G, then, although (3.2.6a) is still

nilpotent, it requires extra terms in order to allow gauge ﬁxing this invariance of the

ghosts. In some cases (see sect. 5.4) this requires an inﬁnite number of new terms (and

ghosts). In general, the procedure of adding in the additional ghosts and invariances

can be tedious, but in sect. 3.4 we’ll ﬁnd a method which automatically gives them

all at once.

The gauge-ﬁxed action is required to be BRST-invariant. The gauge-invariant

part already is, since Q on physical ﬁelds is a special case of a gauge transforma-

tion. The gauge-invariant lagrangian is quantized by adding terms which are Q on

something (corresponding to integration over xα ), and thus BRST-invariant (since

Q2 = 0): For example, rewriting (3.2.3,5) in the present notation,

QAa = −i[∇a , C] ,

QC = iC 2 ,

QC̃ = −iB ,

QB = 0 , (3.2.8)

**we can choose
**

∂f

LGF = iQ C [f (A) + g(B)] = B [f (A) + g(B)] − C [∇a , C] , (3.2.9)

∂Aa

which gives the usual FP term for gauge condition f (A) = 0 with gauge-averaging

function Bg(B). However, gauges more general than FP can be obtained by putting

more complicated ghost-dependence into the function on which Q acts, giving terms

more than quadratic in ghosts. In the temporal gauge

f (A) = A0 (3.2.10)

**and g contains no time derivatives in (3.2.9), so upon quantization B is eliminated
**

(it’s nonpropagating) and C is canonically conjugate to C. Thus, in the hamiltonian

formalism (3.2.6a) gives the correct BRST transformations without the last term,

where the ﬁelds are now functions of just space and not time, the sum in (3.2.7) runs

over just the spatial values of the spacetime index as in (3.1.8), and the derivatives

correspond to functional derivatives which give δ functions in just spatial coordinates.

On the other hand, in Lorentz gauges the ghost and antighost are independent even

34 3. GENERAL BRST

**after quantization, and the last term in Q is needed in both lagrangian and hamil-
**

tonian formalisms; but the product in (3.2.7) and the arguments of the ﬁelds and

δ functions are as in the temporal gauge. Therefore, in the lagrangian approach Q

is gauge independent, while in the hamiltonian approach the only gauge dependence

is the set of unphysical ﬁelds, and thus the last term in Q. Speciﬁcally, for Lorentz

gauges we choose

f (A) = ∂ · A , g(B) = 12 ζB →

LGF = ζ 12 B 2 + B∂ · A − C∂ · [∇, C]

1

= − 12 (∂ · A)2 + ζ 12 B 2 − C∂

· [∇, C] ,

ζ

= B + 1∂ · A ,

B (3.2.11)

ζ

using (3.2.9).

**The main result is that (3.2.6a) gives a general BRST operator for arbitrary alge-
**

bras (3.2.6b), for hamiltonian or lagrangian formalisms, for arbitrary gauges (includ-

ing temporal and Lorentz), where the last term contains arbitrary numbers (perhaps

B) ﬁelds. Since G = 0 is the ﬁeld equation (3.1.6), physical states

0) of sets of (C,

must satisfy Qψ = 0. Actually, G = 0 is satisﬁed only as a Gupta-Bleuler condi-

tion, but still Qψ = 0 because in the C i G i term in (3.2.6a) positive-energy parts

of C i multiply negative-energy parts of G i , and vice versa. Thus, for any value of

an appropriate index i, either C i |ψ

= ψ| G i = 0 or G i |ψ

= ψ| C i = 0, modulo

contributions from the C 2 ∂/∂C term. However, since G is also the generator of gauge

transformations (3.1.8), any state of the form ψ + Qλ is equivalent to ψ. The physical

states are therefore said to belong to the “cohomology” of Q: those satisfying Qψ = 0

modulo gauge transformations δψ = Qλ. (“Physical” has a more restrictive meaning

in BRST1 than BRST2: In BRST2 the physical states are just the gauge-invariant

ones, while in BRST1 they must also be on shell.) In addition, physical states must

have a speciﬁed value of the ghost number, deﬁned by the ghost number operator

∂ ∂

J3 = Ci i

− C i , (3.2.12a)

∂C ∂C i

where

[J 3 , Q] = Q , (3.2.12b)

**and the latter term in (3.2.12a) is dropped if the last term in (3.2.6a) is. The two
**

operators Q and J 3 form the algebra IGL(1), which can be interpreted as a translation

3.3. OSp(1,1|2) 35

**and scale transformation, respectively, with respect to the coordinate xα (i.e., the
**

conformal group in 1 anticommuting dimension).

**From the gauge generators G i , which act on only the physical variables, we can
**

deﬁne IGL(1)-invariant generalizations which transform also C, as the adjoint repre-

sentation:

∂ ∂

Gi = Q, = G i + C j f jik . (3.2.13)

∂C i ∂C k

are gauge-ﬁxed versions of the gauge generators G.

The G’s

**Types of gauges for ﬁrst-quantized theories will be discussed in chapt. 5 for par-
**

ticles and chapt. 6 and sect. 8.3 for strings. Gauge ﬁxing for general ﬁeld theories

using BRST will be described in sect. 4.4, and for closed string ﬁeld theory in sect.

11.1. IGL(1) algebras will be used for deriving general gauge-invariant free actions in

sect. 4.2. The algebra will be derived from ﬁrst-quantization for the particle in sect.

5.2 and for the string in sect. 8.1. However, in the next section we’ll ﬁnd that IGL(1)

can always be derived as a subgroup of OSp(1,1|2), which can be derived in a more

general way than by ﬁrst-quantization.

3.3. OSp(1,1|2)

**Although the IGL(1) algebra is suﬃcient for quantization in arbitrary gauges, in
**

the following section we will ﬁnd the larger OSp(1,1|2) algebra useful for the BRST1

formalism, so we give a derivation here for BRST2 and again generalize to arbitrary

BRST. The basic idea is to introduce a second BRST, “antiBRST,” corresponding to

the antighost. We therefore repeat the procedure of (3.2.1-7) with 2 anticommuting

coordinates [3.11] by simply letting the index α run over 2 values (cf. sect. 2.6). The

solution to (3.2.2) is now

F αa = 0 → pα Aa = [∇a , Aα ] ,

F αβ = 0 → pα Aβ = − 12 {Aα , Aβ } − iC αβ B ;

∇α φ = 0 → pα φ = −Aα φ ; (3.3.1a)

**where Aα now includes both ghost and antighost. The appearance of the NL ﬁeld is
**

due to the ambiguity in the constraint F αβ = p(α Aβ) +· · ·. The remaining (anti)BRST

transformation then follows from further diﬀerentiation:

{pα , pβ }Aγ = 0 → pα B = − 12 [Aα , B] + i 12

1

Aβ , {Aα , Aβ } . (3.3.1b)

36 3. GENERAL BRST

**The generalization of (3.2.6a) is then [3.12], deﬁning Qα (ψ|) = (∂ α ψ)| (and renaming
**

C α = Aα ),

∂ ∂ ∂

Qα = C iα G i + 12 C jα C iβ f ij k kβ

− B i i + 12 C jα B i f ij k

∂C ∂C α ∂B k

1 ∂

− 12 C kβ C jαC i β f ij l f lk m , (3.3.2)

∂B m

and of (3.2.12a) is

∂

J αβ = C i (α

, (3.3.3)

∂C iβ)

where ( ) means index symmetrization. These operators form an ISp(2) algebra

consisting of the translations Qα and rotations J αβ on the coordinates xα :

{Qα , Qβ } = 0 ,

[J αβ , Qγ ] = −C γ(α Qβ) , [J αβ , J γδ ] = −C (γ(α J β)δ) . (3.3.4)

**In order to relate to the IGL(1) formalism, we write
**

α α αβ

J+ −iJ 3

Q = (Q, Q) , C = (C, C) , J = , (3.3.5)

−iJ 3 J−

and make the unitary transformation

∂

ln U = − 12 C j C i f ij k i . (3.3.6)

∂B k

Then UQU −1 is Q of (3.2.6a) and UJ 3 U −1 = J 3 is J 3 of (3.2.12a). However, whereas

there is an arbitrariness in the IGL(1) algebra in redeﬁning J 3 by a constant, there

is no such ambiguity in the OSp(1,1|2) algebra (since it is “simple”).

**Unlike the IGL case, the NL ﬁelds now are an essential part of the algebra.
**

Consequently, the algebra can be enlarged to OSp(1,1|2) [3.7]:

∂

J −α = Qα , J +α = 2C i α ,

∂B i

∂ ∂ iα ∂

J αβ = C i (α , J −+ = 2B i + C , (3.3.7)

∂C iβ) ∂B i ∂C iα

with Qα as in (3.3.2), satisfy

[J αβ , J γδ ] = −C (γ(α J β)δ) ,

[J αβ , J ±γ ] = −C γ(α J ±β) ,

{J −α , J +β } = −C αβ J −+ − J αβ ,

3.3. OSp(1,1|2) 37

[J −+ , J ±α ] = ∓J ±α ,

rest = 0 . (3.3.8)

**This group is the conformal group for xα , with the ISp(2) subgroup being the corre-
**

sponding Poincaré (or Euclidean) subgroup:

J −α = −∂ α , J +α = 2xβ 2 ∂ α + xβ M βα + xα d

J αβ = x(α ∂ β) + M αβ , J −+ = −xα ∂ α + d . (3.3.9)

**(We deﬁne the square of an Sp(2) spinor as (xα )2 ≡ 12 xα xα .) J −α are the transla-
**

tions, J αβ the Lorentz transformations (rotations), J −+ the dilatations, and J +α the

conformal boosts. As a result of constraints analogous to (3.3.1a), the translations

are realized nonlinearly in (3.3.7) instead of the boosts. This should be compared

with the usual conformal group (2.2.4). The action of the generators (3.3.9) have

been chosen to have the opposite sign of those of (3.3.8), since it is a coordinate rep-

resentation instead of a ﬁeld representation (see sect. 2.2). In later sections we will

actually be applying (3.3.7) to coordinates, and hence (3.3.9) should be considered a

“zeroth-quantized” formalism.

**From the gauge generators G i , we can deﬁne OSp(1,1|2)-invariant generalizations
**

which transform also C and B, as adjoint representations:

∂ ∂ ∂

Gi = 1

2 J − α , J −α , = G i + C jα f jik + B j f jik . (3.3.10)

∂B i ∂C kα ∂B k

** are the OSp(1,1|2) generalization of the operators (3.2.13).
**

The G’s

**The OSp(1,1|2) algebra (3.3.7) can be extended to an inhomogeneous algebra
**

IOSp(1,1|2) when one of the generators, which we denote by G 0 , is distinguished

[3.13]. We then deﬁne

∂

p+ = −2i ,

∂B 0

1 ∂ ∂

pα = i + 1 C i α f i0 j ,

p+ ∂C 0α 2 ∂B j

1

p− =− iG 0 + pα 2 . (3.3.11)

p+

**(The i indices still include the value 0.) G0 is then the IOSp(1,1|2) invariant i 12 (2p+ p− +
**

pα pα ). This algebra is useful for constructing gauge ﬁeld theory for closed strings.

38 3. GENERAL BRST

**OSp(1,1|2) will play a central role in the following chapters: In chapt. 4 it will
**

be used to derive free gauge-invariant actions. A more general form will be derived

in the following sections, but the methods of this section will also be used in sect. 8.3

to describe Lorentz-gauge quantization of the string.

**3.4. From the light cone
**

In this section we will derive a general OSp(1,1|2) algebra from the light-cone

Poincaré algebra of sect. 2.3, using concepts developed in sect. 2.6. We’ll use this

general OSp(1,1|2) to derive a general IGL(1), and show how IGL(1) can be extended

to include interactions.

The IGL(1) and OSp(1,1|2) algebras of the previous section can be constructed

from an arbitrary algebra G, whether ﬁrst-quantized or second-quantized, and la-

grangian or hamiltonian. That already gives 8 diﬀerent types of BRST formalisms.

Furthermore, arbitrary gauges, more general than those obtained by the FP method,

and graded algebras (where some of the G’s are anticommuting, as in supersym-

metry) can be treated. However, there is a ninth BRST formalism, similar to the

BRST1 OSp(1,1|2) hamiltonian formalism, which starts from an IOSp(D,2|2) algebra

[2.3] which contains the OSp(1,1|2) as a subgroup. This approach is unique in that,

rather than starting from the gauge covariant formalism to derive the BRST algebra,

it starts from just the usual Poincaré algebra and derives both the gauge covariant

formalism and BRST algebra. In this section, instead of deriving BRST1 from ﬁrst-

quantization, we will describe this special form of BRST1, and give the OSp(1,1|2)

subalgebra of which special cases will be found in the following chapters.

The basic idea of the IOSp formalism is to start from the light-cone formalism

of the theory with its nonlinear realization of the usual Poincaré group ISO(D-1,1)

(with manifest subgroup ISO(D-2)), extend this group to IOSp(D,2|2) (with manifest

IOSp(D-1,1|2)) by adding 2 commuting and 2 anticommuting coordinates, and take

the ISO(D-1,1)⊗OSp(1,1|2) subgroup, where this ISO(D-1,1) is now manifest and the

nonlinear OSp(1,1|2) is interpreted as BRST. Since the BRST operators of BRST1

contain all the ﬁeld equations, the gauge-invariant action can be derived. Thus, not

only can the light-cone formalism be derived from the gauge-invariant formalism,

but the converse is also true. Furthermore, for general ﬁeld theories the light-cone

formalism (at least for the free theory) is easier to derive (although more awkward

to use), and the IOSp method therefore provides a convenient method to derive the

gauge covariant formalism.

3.4. From the light cone 39

**We now perform dimensional continuation as in sect. 2.6, but set x+ = 0 as in sect.
**

2.3. Our ﬁelds are now functions of (xa , xα , x− ), and have indices corresponding to

representations of the spin subgroup OSp(D−1,1|2) in the massless case or OSp(D,1|2)

in the massive. Of the full group IOSp(D,2|2) (obtained from extending (2.3.5)) we

are now only interested in the subgroup ISO(D−1,1)⊗OSp(1,1|2). The former factor

is the usual Poincaré group, acting only in the physical spacetime directions:

pa = i∂ a , J ab = −ix[a pb] + M ab . (3.4.1)

**The latter factor is identiﬁed as the BRST group, acting in only the unphysical
**

directions:

**J αβ = −ix(α pβ) + M αβ , J −+ = −ix− p+ + k , J +α = ixα p+ ,
**

1

J −α = −ix− pα + −ixα 12 (pb pb + M 2 + pβ pβ ) + M α β pβ + kpα + Qα ,

p+

{Qα , Qβ } = −M αβ (pa pa + M 2 ) ; (3.4.2a)

Qα = M α b pb + M αm M . (3.4.2b)

We’ll generally set k = 0.

**In order to relate to the BRST1 IGL formalism obtained from ordinary ﬁrst-
**

quantization (and discussed in the following chapters for the particle and string),

we perform an analysis similar to that of (3.3.5,6): Making the (almost) unitary

transformation [2.3]

∂

ln U = (ln p+ ) c + M 3 , (3.4.3a)

∂c

where xα = (c, c̃), M αa = (M +a , M −a ), and M α m = (M + m , M − m ), we get

∂ ∂

Q → −ic 12 (pa 2 + M 2 ) + M + i + (M +a pa + M + m M) + x− i ,

∂c ∂c̃

∂ ∂

J3 = c + M 3 − c̃ . (3.4.3b)

∂c ∂c̃

(Cf. (3.2.6a,12a).) As in sect. 3.2, the extra terms in x− and c̃ (analogous to B i and

C i ) can be dropped in the IGL(1) formalism. After dropping such terms, J 3† = 1−J 3 .

1

(Or we can subtract 2 to make it simply antihermitian. However, we prefer not to,

so that physical states will still have vanishing ghost number.)

**Since p+ is a momentum, this redeﬁnition has a funny eﬀect on reality (but not
**

hermiticity) properties: In particular, c is now a momentum rather than a coordi-

nate (because it has been scaled by p+ , maintaining its hermiticity but making it

40 3. GENERAL BRST

**imaginary in coordinate space). However, we will avoid changing notation or Fourier
**

transforming the ﬁelds, in order to simplify comparison to the OSp(1,1|2) formalism.

The eﬀect of (3.4.3a) on a ﬁeld satisfying Φ = ΩΦ* is that it now satisﬁes

3

Φ = (−1)c∂/∂c+M ΩΦ* (3.4.4)

due to the i in p+ = i∂ + .

**These results can be extended to interacting ﬁeld theory, and we use Yang-Mills
**

as an example [2.3]. Lorentz-covariantizing the light-cone result (2.1.7,2.4.11), we ﬁnd

p− = − 14 F ij F ji + 12 (p+ A− )2 ,

J −α = ix− (pα Ai )(p+ Ai ) + ixα − 14 F ij F ji + 12 (p+ A− )2 − Aα p+ A− ,

1

A− = − [∇i , p+ Ai } . (3.4.5)

p+ 2

**When working in the IGL(1) formalism, it’s extremely useful to introduce a
**

Lorentz covariant type of second-quantized bracket [3.14]. This bracket can be pos-

tulated independently, or derived by covariantization of the light-cone canonical com-

mutator, plus truncation of the c̃, x+ , and x− coordinates. The latter derivation will

prove useful for the derivation of IGL(1) from OSp(1,1|2). Upon covariantization of

the canonical light-cone commutator (2.4.5), the arguments of the ﬁelds and of the

δ-function on the right-hand side are extended accordingly. We now have to truncate.

The truncation of x+ is automatic: Since the original commutator was an equal-time

one, there is no x+ δ-function on the right-hand side, and it therefore suﬃces to

delete the x+ arguments of the ﬁelds. At this stage, in addition to x− dependence,

the ﬁelds depend on both c and c̃ and the right-hand side contains both δ-functions.

(This commutator may be useful for OSp approaches to ﬁeld theory.) We now wish

to eliminate the c̃ dependence. This cannot be done by straightforward truncation,

since expansion of the ﬁeld in this anticommuting coordinate shows that one cannot

eliminate consistently the ﬁelds in the c̃ sector. We therefore proceed formally and

just delete the c̃ argument from the ﬁelds and the corresponding δ-function, obtaining

1

[Φ† (1), Φ(2)]c = − δ(x2− − x1− )δ D (x2 − x1 )δ(c2 − c1 ) , (3.4.6)

2p+2

**which is a bracket with unusual statistics because of the anticommuting δ-function on
**

the right-hand side. The transformation (3.4.3a) is performed next; its nonunitarity

3.4. From the light cone 41

**causes the p+ dependence of (3.4.6) to disappear, enabling one to delete the x−
**

argument from the ﬁelds and the corresponding δ-function to ﬁnd (using (c∂/∂c)c = c)

[Φ† (1), Φ(2)]c = − 12 δ D (x2 − x1 )δ(c2 − c1 ) . (3.4.7)

**This is the covariant bracket. The arguments of the ﬁelds are (xa , c), namely, the usual
**

D bosonic coordinates of covariant theories and the single anticommuting coordinate

of the IGL(1) formalism. The corresponding δ-functions appear on the right-hand

side. (3.4.6,7) are deﬁned for commuting (scalar) ﬁelds, but generalize straightfor-

wardly: For example, for Yang-Mills, where Ai includes both commuting (Aa ) and

anticommuting (Aα ) ﬁelds, [Ai † , Aj ] has an extra factor of η ij . It might be possible

to deﬁne the bracket by a commutator [A, B]c = A ∗ B − B ∗ A. Classically it can be

deﬁned by a Poisson bracket:

†

† 1 δ δ

[A , B]c = 2 dz A B , (3.4.8)

δΦ(z) δΦ(z)

where z are all the coordinates of Φ (in this case, xa and c). For A = B = Φ, the

result of equation (3.4.7) is reproduced. The above equation implies that the bracket

is a derivation:

[A, BC]c = [A, B]c C + (−1)(A+1)B B[A, C]c , (3.4.9)

where the A’s and B’s in the exponent of the (−1) are 0 if the corresponding quantity

is bosonic and 1 if it’s fermionic. This diﬀers from the usual graded Leibnitz rule by

a (−1)B due to the anticommutativity of the dz in the front of (3.4.8), which also

gives the bracket the opposite of the usual statistics: We can write (−1)[A,B]c =

(−1)A+B+1 to indicate that the bracket of 2 bosonic operators is fermionic, etc., a

direct consequence of the anticommutativity of the total δ-function in (3.4.7). One

can also verify that this bracket satisﬁes the other properties of a (generalized) Lie

bracket:

[A, B]c = (−1)AB [B, A]c ,

(−1)A(C+1) [A, [B, C]c ]c + (−1)B(A+1) [B, [C, A]c ]c + (−1)C(B+1) [C, [A, B]c ]c = 0 .

(3.4.10)

Thus the bracket has the opposite of the usual graded symmetry, being antisymmetric

for objects of odd statistics and symmetric otherwise. This property follows from

the hermiticity condition (3.4.4): (−1)c∂/∂c gives (−1)−(∂/∂c)c = −(−1)c∂/∂c upon

integration by parts, which gives the eﬀect of using an antisymmetric metric. The

Jacobi identity has the same extra signs as in (3.4.9). These properties are suﬃcient

to perform the manipulations analogous to those used in the light cone.

42 3. GENERAL BRST

**Before applying this bracket, we make some general considerations concerning
**

the derivation of interacting IGL(1) from OSp(1,1|2). We start with the original

untransformed generators J 3 and J − c = Q. The ﬁrst step is to restrict our attention

to just the ﬁelds at c̃ = 0. Killing all the ﬁelds at linear order in c̃ is consistent

with the transformation laws, since the transformations of the latter ﬁelds include

no terms which involve only c̃ = 0 ﬁelds. Since the linear-in-c̃ ﬁelds are canonically

conjugate to the c̃ = 0 ﬁelds, the only terms in the generators which could spoil this

property would themselves have to depend on only c̃ = 0 ﬁelds, which, because of the

dc̃ (= ∂/∂c̃) integration, would require explicit c̃-dependence. However, from (2.4.15),

since η cc = C cc = 0, we see that J − c anticommutes with pc , and thus has no explicit

c̃-dependence at either the free or interacting levels. (The only explicit coordinate

dependence in Q is from a c term.)

**The procedure of restricting to c̃ = 0 ﬁelds can then be implemented very simply
**

by dropping all pc (= −∂/∂c̃)’s in the generators. As a consequence, we also lose all

explicit x− terms in Q. (This follows from [J − c , p+ ] = −pc .) Since c̃ and ∂/∂c̃ now

occur nowhere explicitly, we can also kill all implicit dependence on c̃: All ﬁelds are

evaluated at c̃ = 0, the dc̃ is removed from the integral in the generators, and the

δ(c̃2 − c̃1 ) is removed from the canonical commutator, producing (3.4.6). In the case

of Yang-Mills ﬁelds Ai = (Aa , Aα ) = (Aa , Ac , Ac̃ ), the BRST generator at this point

is given by

Q= ic[− 14 F ij F ji + 12 (p+ A− )2 ] − Ac p+ A− , (3.4.11)

**where the integrals are now over just xa , x− , and c, and some of the ﬁeld strengths
**

simplify:

F cc = 2(Ac )2 , other F ic = [∇i , Ac } . (3.4.12)

**Before performing the transformations which eliminate p+ dependence, it’s now
**

convenient to expand the ﬁelds over c as

Aa = Aa + cχa ,

Ac = iC + cB ,

Ac̃ = iC + cD , (3.4.13)

**where the ﬁelds on the right-hand sides are xα -independent. (The i’s have been
**

chosen in accordance with (3.4.4) to make the ﬁnal ﬁelds real.) We next perform the

dc integration, and then perform as the ﬁrst transformation the ﬁrst-quantized one

3.4. From the light cone 43

3

(3.4.3a), Φ → p+ −J Φ (using the ﬁrst-quantized J 3 = c∂/∂c + M 3 ), which gives

2

2 1 2 1

−iQ = 1

4 F ab − 1

2 2B + i[∇a , p+ Aa ] − {C, C̃} − p+ 2 C, C̃

p+ p+ p+

2

1

− 2D + C̃ 2 − 2p+ 2 C̃ C2

p+

1

+ 2χ − i[∇ , C̃] − 2i p+ A , C̃

a a a

[∇a , C] . (3.4.14)

p+

**This transformation also replaces (3.4.6) with (3.4.7), with an extra factor of η ij
**

for [Ai † , Aj ], but still with the x− δ-function. Expanding the bracket over the c’s,

[χa , Ab ]c = 12 η ab , [D, C]c = 1

2 , [B, C̃]c = − 12 , (3.4.15)

**where we have left oﬀ all the δ-function factors (now in commuting coordinates only).
**

Note that, by (3.4.10), all these brackets are symmetric.

**We might also deﬁne a second-quantized
**

3 ∂

J = i

A p+ c + M 3 Ai , (3.4.16a)

∂c

but this form automatically keeps just the antihermitian part of the ﬁrst-quantized

operator c∂/∂c = 12 [c, ∂/∂c] + 12 : Doing the c integration and transformation (3.4.3a),

J3 = χa Aa − C̃B − 3CD . (3.4.16b)

**As a result, the terms in Q of diﬀerent orders in the ﬁelds have diﬀerent second-
**

quantized ghost number. Therefore, we use only the ﬁrst-quantized ghost operator

(or second-quantize it in functional form).

**As can be seen in the above equations, despite the rescaling of the ﬁelds by
**

suitable powers of p+ there remains a fairly complicated dependence on p+ . There is

no explicit x− dependence anywhere but, of course, the ﬁelds have x− as an argument.

It would seem that there should be a simple prescription to get rid of the p+ ’s in the

transformations. Setting p+ = constant does not work, since it violates the Leibnitz

rule for derivatives (p+ φ = aφ implies that p+ φ2 = 2aφ2 and not aφ2 ). Even setting

p+ φi = λi φi does not work. An attempt that comes very close is the following: Give

the ﬁelds some speciﬁc x− dependence in such a way that the p+ factors can be

evaluated and that afterwards such dependence can be canceled between the right-

hand side and left-hand side of the transformations. In the above case it seems that

44 3. GENERAL BRST

**the only possibility is to set every ﬁeld proportional to (x− )0 but then it is hard
**

to deﬁne 1/p+ and p+ . One then tries setting each ﬁeld proportional to (x− ) and

then let

→ 0 at the end. In fact this prescription gives the correct answer for the

quadratic terms of the Yang-Mills BRST transformations. Unfortunately it does not

give the correct cubic terms.

**It might be possible to eliminate p+ -dependence simply by applying J −+ = 0 as a
**

constraint. However, this would require resolving some ambiguities in the evaluation

of the nonlocal (in x− ) operator p+ in the interaction vertices.

**We therefore remove the explicit p+ -dependence by use of an explicit transforma-
**

tion. In the Yang-Mills case, this transformation can be completely determined by

choosing it to be the one which redeﬁnes the auxiliary ﬁeld B in a way which elimi-

nates interaction terms in Q involving it, thus making B + i 12 p · A BRST-invariant.

The resulting transformation [3.14] redeﬁnes only the BRST auxiliary ﬁelds:

Q → eL∆ Q , LA B ≡ [A, B]c , L∆ 2 = 0 ,

2

1 1

∆= C̃ i[Aa , p+ Aa ] − C̃ 2 C + 2 C̃ (p+ 2 C) , (3.4.17)

p+ p+

simply redeﬁnes the auxiliary ﬁelds to absorb the awkward interaction terms in

(3.4.14). (We can also eliminate the free terms added to B and χ by adding a

term C̃ipa Aa to ∆ to make the ﬁrst term C̃(1/p+ )i[∇a , p+ Aa ].) We then ﬁnd for

the transformed BRST operator

−iQ = 1 2

− 12 (2B + ip · A)2 − 2DC 2 + (2χa − ipa C)[∇

4 F ab a , C] . (3.4.18)

The resulting transformations are then

QAa = − i[∇a , C] ,

+ p (B + i 1 p · A) ,

Qχa = i 12 [∇b , Fba ] + i{C, χa − i 12 pa C} a 2

QC = − 2i(B + i 12 p · A) ,

QD = − i ∇a , χa − i 12 pa C + i[C, D] ,

QC = iC 2 ,

QB = − 12 pa [∇a , C] . (3.4.19)

**Since all the p+ ’s have been eliminated, we can now drop all x− dependence from the
**

B of the usual BRST2

ﬁelds, integration, and δ-functions. On the ﬁelds Aa , C, C,

3.5. Fermions 45

**formalism, this result agrees with the corresponding transformations (3.2.8), where
**

of (3.2.11). By working with the second-quantized operator form of Q

this B = 12 B

(and of the redeﬁnition ∆), we have automatically obtained a form which makes QΦ

integrable in Φ, or equivalently makes the vertices which follow from this operator

cyclic in all the ﬁelds (or symmetric, if one takes group-theory indices into account).

The signiﬁcance of this property will be described in the next chapter.

**This extended-light-cone form of the OSp(1,1|2) algebra will be used to derive
**

free gauge-invariant actions in the next chapter. The speciﬁc form of the generators

for the case of the free open string will be given in sect. 8.2, and the generalization to

the free closed string in sect. 11.1. A partial analysis of the interacting string along

these lines will be given in sect. 12.1.

3.5. Fermions

**These results can be extended to fermions [3.15]. This requires a slight modi-
**

ﬁcation of the formalism, since the Sp(2) representations resulting from the above

analysis for spinors don’t include singlets. This modiﬁcation is analogous to the addi-

tion of the B∂/∂ C terms to Q in (3.2.6a). We can think of the OSp(1,1|2) generators

of (3.4.2) as “orbital” generators, and add “spin” generators which themselves gen-

erate OSp(1,1|2). In particular, since we are here considering spinors, we choose the

spin generators to be those for the simplest spinor representation, the graded gen-

eralization of a Dirac spinor, whose generators can be expressed in terms of graded

Dirac “matrices”:

{γ̃ A , γ̃ B ] = 2η AB , S AB = 14 [γ̃ A , γ̃ B } , J AB = J AB + S AB , (3.5.1)

**where { , ] is the opposite of [ , }. These γ̃ matrices are not to be confused with
**

the “ordinary” γ matrices which appear in M ij from the dimensional continuation

of the true spin operators. The γ̃ A , like γ i , are hermitian. (The hermiticity of γ i

in the light-cone formalism follows from (γ i )2 = 1 for each i and the fact that all

states in the light-cone formalism have nonnegative norm, since they’re physical.)

The choice of whether the γ̃’s (and also the graded γ i ’s) commute or anticommute

with other operators (which could be arbitrarily changed by a Klein transformation)

follows from the index structure as usual (bosonic for indices ±, fermionic for α).

(Thus, as usual, the ordinary γ matrices γ a commute with other operators, although

they anticommute with each other.)

46 3. GENERAL BRST

**In order to put the OSp(1,1|2) generators in a form more similar to (3.4.2), we
**

need to perform unitary transformations which eliminate the new terms in J −+ and

J +α (while not aﬀecting J αβ , although changing J −α ). In general, the appropriate

transformations J AB = UJ AB U −1 to eliminate such terms are:

ln U = −(ln p+ )S −+ (3.5.2a)

to ﬁrst eliminate the S −+ term from J −+ , and then

ln U = S + α pα (3.5.2b)

to do the same for J +α . The general result is

J −+ = −ix− p+ + k , J +α = ixα p+ ,

J αβ = −ix(α pβ) + M ,

αβ

1 β p + kp + Q

J −α = −ix− pα + −ixα 12 (pb pb + M 2 + pβ pβ ) + M α β α α ; (3.5.3a)

p+

=M

M αβ αβ + S αβ ,

= (M b p + M M) + S

Q 1 b 2

α α b αm −α + S +α 2 (p pb + M ) . (3.5.3b)

(3.5.3a) is the same as (3.4.2a), but with M αβ and Qα replaced by M

αβ and Qα . In

is

this case the last term in Q α

S −α + S +α 12 (pb pb + M 2 ) = − 12 γ̃ α γ̃ − + γ̃ + 21 (pb pb + M 2 ) . (3.5.4)

We can again choose k = 0.

**This algebra will be used to derive free gauge-invariant actions for fermions in
**

sect. 4.5. The generalization to fermionic strings follows from the representation of

the Poincaré algebra given in sect. 7.2.

3.6. More dimensions

**In the previous section we saw that fermions could be treated in a way similar to
**

bosons by including an OSp(1,1|2) Cliﬀord algebra. In the case of the Dirac spinor,

there is already an OSp(D−1,1|2) Cliﬀord algebra (or OSp(D,1|2) in the massive

case) obtained by adding 2+2 dimensions to the light-cone γ-matrices, in terms of

which M ij (and therefore the OSp(1,1|2) algebra) is deﬁned. Including the addi-

tional γ-matrices makes the spinor a representation of an OSp(D,2|4) Cliﬀord algebra

(OSp(D+1,2|4) for massive), and is thus equivalent to adding 4+4 dimensions to the

3.6. More dimensions 47

**original light-cone spinor instead of 2+2, ignoring the extra spacetime coordinates.
**

This suggests another way of treating fermions which allows bosons to be treated

identically, and should thus allow a straightforward generalization to supersymmetric

theories [3.16].

**We proceed similarly to the 2+2 case: Begin by adding 4+4 dimensions to the
**

light-cone Poincaré algebra (2.3.5). Truncate the resulting IOSp(D+1,3|4) algebra to

ISO(D−1,1)⊗IOSp(2,2|4). IOSp(2,2|4) contains (in particular) 2 inequivalent trun-

cations to IOSp(1,1|2), which can be described by (deﬁning-representation direct-

product) factorization of the OSp(2,2|4) metric into the OSp(1,1|2) metric times the

metric of either SO(2) (U(1)) or SO(1,1) (GL(1)):

η AB = η AB η âb̂ , A = Aâ

**→ J AB = η b̂â J Aâ,Bb̂ ,
**

âb̂ ∆ = η BA J Aâ,Bb̂ , (3.6.1)

**where ∆ is the generator of the U(1) or GL(1) and η âb̂ = I or σ 1 . These 2 OSp(1,1|2)’s
**

are Wick rotations of each other. We’ll treat the 2 cases separately.

**The GL(1) case corresponds to ﬁrst taking the GL(2|2) (=SL(2|2)⊗GL(1)) sub-
**

group of OSp(2,2|4) (as SU(N)⊂SO(2N), or GL(1|1)⊂OSp(1,1|2)), keeping also half

of the inhomogeneous generators to get IGL(2|2). Then taking the OSp(1,1|2) sub-

group of the SL(2|2) (in the same way as SO(N)⊂SU(N)), we get IOSp(1,1|2)⊗GL(1),

which is like the Poincaré group in (1,1|2) dimensions plus dilatations. (There is also

an SL(1|2)=OSp(1,1|2) subgroup of SL(2|2), but this turns out not to be useful.) The

advantage of breaking down to GL(2|2) is that for this subgroup the coordinates of

the string (sect. 8.3) can be redeﬁned in such a way that the extra zero-modes are

separated out in a natural way while leaving the generators local in σ. This GL(2|2)

subgroup can be described by writing the OSp(2,2|4) metric as

0 η AB

η AB = , η AB = (−1)AB η B A , A = (A, A ) (3.6.2a)

η A B 0

J˜AB J˜AB

→ J AB = , J˜AB = −(−1)AB J˜B A , (3.6.2b)

J˜A B J˜A B

where J˜A B are the GL(2|2) generators, to which we add the p̃A half of pA to form

IGL(2|2). (The metric η AB can be used to eliminate primed indices, leaving covariant

and contravariant unprimed indices.) In this notation, the original ± indices of the

light cone are now + and − (whereas + and − are “transverse”). To reduce to

48 3. GENERAL BRST

**the IOSp(1,1|2)⊗GL(1) subgroup we identify primed and unprimed indices; i.e., we
**

choose the subgroup which transforms them in the same way:

J AB = J˜A B + J˜AB , p̌A = p̃A , ∆ = η BA J˜A B . (3.6.3)

**We distinguish the momenta p̌A and their conjugate coordinates x̌A , which we wish
**

to eliminate, from pA = p̃A and their conjugates xA , which we’ll keep as the usual

ones of OSp(1,1|2) (including the nonlinear p− ). At this point these generators take

the explicit form

∆ = ix̌A p̌A − ix− p+ − ixα pα + M − + + C βα M α β ,

J +α = ip̌+ x̌α − ix̌+ p̌α + ip+ xα + M +α ,

J −+ = −ix̌− p̌+ + ix̌+ p̌− − ix− p+ + M − + ,

J αβ = −ix̌(α p̌β) − ix(α pβ) + M αβ + M α β ,

1

J −α = −ix̌− p̌α + ix̌α p̌− − ix− pα + ixα p− + M − α + Qα ,

p̌+

1

p− = − (pa 2 + M 2 + 2p+ p̌− + 2pα p̌α ) ,

2p̌+

Qα = M α a pa + M α m M + M α + p̌− + M α − p+ − M α β p̌β − M α β pβ . (3.6.4)

**(All the p̌’s are linear, being unconstrained so far.) We now use p and ∆ to eliminate
**

the extra zero-modes. We apply the constraints and corresponding gauge conditions

1

∆=0 → x̌− = (x− p+ + xα pα − x̌+ p̌− − x̌α p̌α + iM − + + iC βα M α β ) ,

p̌+

gauge p̌+ = 1 ;

p̌A p̌A = 0 → p̌− = − 12 p̌α p̌α ,

gauge x̌+ = 0 . (3.6.5)

**These constraints are directly analogous to (2.2.3), which were used to obtain the
**

usual coordinate representation of the conformal group SO(D,2) from the usual co-

ordinate representation (with 2 more coordinates) of the same group as a Lorentz

group. In fact, after making a unitary transformation of the type (3.5.2b),

U = e−(ip+ xα +M +α )p̌

α

, (3.6.6)

**the remaining unwanted coordinates x̌α completely decouple:
**

◦

UJ AB U −1 = J AB + J AB , (3.6.7a)

3.6. More dimensions 49

◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

J +α = ix̌α , J −+ = ix̌α p̌α , J αβ = −ix̌(α p̌β) , J −α = −ix̌α p̌β p̌β ;

(3.6.7b)

α βα

J +α = 2(ip+ xα + M +α ) , J −+ = 2(−ix− p+ + M − + ) + (−ix pα + C M α β ) ,

J αβ = −ix(α pβ) + (M α β + M αβ ) ,

J −α = (−ix− pα + M − α )

+ −ixα 21 (pa 2 + M 2 ) + (M α a pa + M α m M + M α − p+ − M α β pβ ) ,

(3.6.7c)

◦

where J are the generators of the conformal group in 2 anticommuting dimensions

((3.3.9), after switching coordinates and momenta), and J are the desired OSp(1,1|2)

generators.

To eliminate zero-modes, it’s convenient to transform these OSp(1,1|2) generators

to the canonical form (3.4.2a). This is performed [3.7] by the redeﬁnition

1 2

p+ → 2 p+ , (3.6.8a)

**followed by the unitary transformations
**

1

− −i 2 [xα ,pα ]+2M − + +C βα M α β

U 1 = p+ ,

U 2 = e−2M +α p

α

. (3.6.8b)

**Since p+ is imaginary (though hermitian) in (x− ) coordinate space, U 1 changes reality
**

conditions accordingly (an i for each p+ ). The generators are then

J +α = ixα p+ , J −+ = −ix− p+ ,

J αβ = −ix(α pβ) + M ,

αβ

1 βp + Q

J −α = −ix− pα + −ixα 12 (pa 2 + M 2 + pβ pβ ) + M α β α ; (3.6.9a)

p+

=M +M

M ,

αβ αβ αβ

= M − 1 M + (M a p + M M) + M (p 2 + M 2 ) .

Q (3.6.9b)

α −α 2 −α α a αm +α a

**For the U(1) case the derivation is a little more straightforward. It corresponds
**

to ﬁrst taking the U(1,1|1,1) (=SU(1,1|1,1)⊗ U(1)) subgroup of OSp(2,2|4). From

(3.6.1), instead of (3.6.2a,3) we now have

η AB 0

η AB = , η AB = η A B , A = (A, A ) ,

0 η A B

50 3. GENERAL BRST

**J AB = J˜AB + J˜A B , p̌A = p̃A , ∆ = η BA J˜A B . (3.6.10)
**

The original light-cone ± are now still ± (no primes), so the unwanted zero-modes

can be eliminated by the constraints and gauge choices

p̌A = 0 → gauge x̌A = 0 . (3.6.11)

**Alternatively, we could include p̌A among the generators, using IOSp(1,1|2) as the
**

group (as for the usual closed string: see sects. 7.1, 11.1). (The same result can be

obtained by replacing (3.6.11) with the constraints ∆ = 0 and

b̂â pAâ pBb̂ ∼ p[A p̌B) =

0.) The OSp(1,1|2) generators are now

J +α = ixα p+ + M + α , J −+ = −ix− p+ + M − + ,

J αβ = −ix(α pβ) + M αβ + M α β ,

1 1

J −α = −ix− pα −ixα (pa 2 +M 2 +pβ pβ )+ (M α a pa +M αm M +M α β pβ )+M − α ,

2p+ p+

(3.6.12a)

or, in other words (symbols), these OSp(1,1|2) generators are just the usual ones plus

the spin of a second OSp(1,1|2), with the same representation as the spin of the ﬁrst

OSp(1,1|2):

J AB = J˜AB + M A B . (3.6.12b)

(However, for the string M αm M will contain oscillators from both sets of 2+2 dimen-

sions, so these sets of oscillators won’t decouple, even though J˜AB commutes with

M A B .) To simplify the form of J −+ and J −α , we make the consecutive unitary

transformations (3.5.2):

α p

U 1 = p+ −M − + , U 2 = eM + α

, (3.6.13)

after which the generators again take the canonical form:

J +α = ixα p+ , J −+ = −ix− p+

, J αβ = −ix(α pβ) + M ,

αβ

1 βp + Q

J −α = −ix− pα + −ixα 21 (pa 2 + M 2 + pβ pβ ) + M α β α ; (3.6.14a)

p+

=M

M αβ αβ + M α β ,

= M + (M b p + M M) + M 1 (p 2 + M 2 ) .

Q (3.6.14b)

α −α α b αm +α 2 a

**Because of U 1 , formerly real ﬁelds now satisfy φ† = (−1)M − + φ.
**

Examples and actions of this 4+4-extended OSp(1,1|2) will be considered in sect.

4.1, its application to supersymmetry in sect. 5.5, and its application to strings in

sect. 8.3.

Exercises 51

Exercises

(1) Derive the time derivative of (3.1.6) from (3.1.7).

**(2) Derive (3.1.12). Compare with the usual derivation of the Noether current in
**

ﬁeld theory.

(3) Derive (3.1.15,17).

(4) Show that Q of (3.2.6a) is nilpotent. Show this directly for (3.2.8).

(5) Derive (3.3.1b).

(6) Use (3.3.6) to rederive (3.2.6a,12a).

**(7) Use (3.3.2,7) to derive the OSp(1,1|2) algebra for Yang-Mills in terms of the
**

explicit independent ﬁelds (in analogy to (3.2.8)).

**(8) Perform the transformation (3.4.3a) to obtain (3.4.3b). Choose the Dirac spinor
**

representation of the spin operators (in terms of γ-matrices). Compare with

(3.2.6), and identify the ﬁeld equations G and ghosts C.

and M

(9) Check that the algebra of Q

α αβ closes for (3.5.3), (3.6.9), and (3.6.14),

**and compare with (3.4.2).
**

52 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

4.1. OSp(1,1|2)

**In this chapter we will use the results of sects. 3.4-6 to derive free gauge-invariant
**

actions for arbitrary ﬁeld theories, and discuss some preliminary results for the ex-

tension to interacting theories.

**The (free) gauge covariant theory for arbitrary representations of the Poincaré
**

group (except perhaps for those satisfying self-duality conditions) can be constructed

from the BRST1 OSp(1,1|2) generators [2.3]. For the ﬁelds described in sect. 3.4

which are representations of OSp(D,2|2), consider the gauge invariance generated by

OSp(1,1|2) and the obvious (but unusual) corresponding gauge-invariant action:

δΦ = 1 BA

2J ΛAB → S= dD xa dx− d2 xα 21 Φ† p+ δ(J AB )Φ , (4.1.1)

**where J AB for A = (+, −, α) (graded antisymmetric in its indices) are the generators
**

of OSp(1,1|2), and we have set k = 0, so that the p+ factor is the Hilbert space

metric. In particular, the J −+ and J +α transformations allow all dependence on the

unphysical coordinates to be gauged away:

δΦ = −ix− p+ Λ−+ + ixα p+ Λ−α (4.1.2)

**implies that only the part of Φ at x− = xα = 0 can be gauge invariant. A more
**

explicit form of δ(J AB ) is given by

p+ δ(J AB ) = p+ δ(J αβ 2 )iδ(J −+ )δ 2 (J +α )δ 2 (J −α )

= δ(x− )δ 2 (xα )δ(M αβ 2 )p+ 2 J −α 2 , (4.1.3)

where we have used

1

J −+ δ(J −+ ) = δ(J −+ )J −+ = 0 → δ(J −+ ) = i δ(x− ) , (4.1.4)

p+

4.1. OSp(1,1|2) 53

**since p+ = 0 in light-cone formalisms. The gauge invariance of the kinetic operator
**

follows from the fact that the δ-functions can be reordered fairly freely: δ(J αβ 2 )

(which is really a Kronecker δ) commutes with all the others, while

δ(J −+ + a)δ 2 (J ±α ) = δ 2 (J ±α )δ(J −+ + a ∓ 2) → [δ(J −+ ), δ 2 (J +α )δ 2 (J −α )] = 0 ,

[δ 2 (J −α ), δ 2 (J +β )] = 2J −+ + (C αβ J −+ + J αβ ) 12 [J −α , J +β ] , (4.1.5)

**where the J −+ and J αβ each can be freely moved to either side of the [J −α , J +β ].
**

After integration of the action over the trivial coordinate dependence on x− and xα ,

(4.1.1) reduces to (using (3.4.2,4.1.3))

S= dD xa 12 φ† δ(M αβ 2 )(2 −M 2 +Q2 )φ , δφ = −i 12 Qα Λα + 12 M αβ Λαβ , (4.1.6)

**where φ now depends only on the usual spacetime coordinates xa , and for irreducible
**

Poincaré representations φ has indices which are the result of starting with an irre-

ducible representation of OSp(D−1,1|2) in the massless case, or OSp(D,1|2) in the

massive case, and then truncating to the Sp(2) singlets. (This type of action was ﬁrst

proposed for the string [4.1,2].) Λα is the remaining part of the J −α transformations

after using up the transformations of (4.1.2) (and absorbing a 1/∂ + ), and contains

the usual component gauge transformations, while Λαβ just gauges away the Sp(2)

nonsinglets. We have thus derived a general gauge-covariant action by adding 2+2

dimensions to the light-cone theory. In sect. 4.4 we’ll show that gauge-ﬁxing to the

light cone gives back the original light-cone theory, proving the consistency of this

method.

**In the BRST formalism the ﬁeld contains not only physical polarizations, but
**

also auxiliary ﬁelds (nonpropagating ﬁelds needed to make the action local, such as

the trace of the metric tensor for the graviton), ghosts (including antighosts, ghosts

of ghosts, etc.), and Stueckelberg ﬁelds (gauge degrees of freedom, such as the gauge

part of Higgs ﬁelds, which allow more renormalizable and less singular formalisms for

massive ﬁelds). All of these but the ghosts appear in the gauge-invariant action. For

example, for a massless vector we start with Ai = (Aa , Aα ), which appears in the ﬁeld

φ as

i j

φ = i Ai , = η ij . (4.1.7)

**Reducing to Sp(2) singlets, we can truncate to just Aa . Using the relations
**

M ij k = [i η j)k → M αa b = η ab α , M αa β = −C αβ a , (4.1.8)

54 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

**where [ ) is graded antisymmetrization, we ﬁnd
**

c a

1 αb

2M Mα = 12 M αb η ac α = η ac b , (4.1.9)

**and thus the lagrangian
**

L= 1

2 φδ(M αβ 2 )[2 − (M α b ∂ b )2 ]φ = 12 Aa (2 Aa − ∂ a ∂ b Ab ) . (4.1.10)

**Similarly, for the gauge transformation
**

α

Λ = i Λi α → δAa = 1 b α

a 2 M α ∂ b Λ = − 12 ∂ a Λα α . (4.1.11)

**As a result of the δ(M αβ 2 ) acting on Qα Λα , the only part of Λ which survives is
**

the part which is an overall singlet in the matrix indices and explicit α index: in

this case, Λi α = δ i α λ → δAa = −∂ a λ. Note that the φQ2 φ term can be written as

a (Qφ)2 term: This corresponds to subtracting out a “gauge-ﬁxing” term from the

“gauge-ﬁxed” lagrangian φ(2 − M 2 )φ. (See the discussion of gauge ﬁxing in sect.

4.4.)

**For a massless antisymmetric tensor we start with A[ij) = (A[ab] , Aaα , A(αβ) ) ap-
**

pearing as

1

ij

φ = − 12 ij = √ [i ⊗ j)

Aji , (4.1.12)

A A 2

(and similarly for |Λα

), and truncate to just A[ab] . Then, from (4.1.8),

1 d a b

αc

2M Mα = 12 M αc η da α b + η db a α

= η da c b + η db a c + η d(a η b)c 12 α α , (4.1.13)

and we have

L = 14 Aab (2 Aab + ∂ c ∂ [a Ab]c ) , δAab = 12 ∂ [a Λb]α α . (4.1.14)

**For a massless traceless symmetric tensor we start with h(ij] = (h(ab) , hαb , h[αβ] )
**

satisfying hi i = ha a + hα α = 0, appearing as

1

ij

φ = 12 ij hji , = √ (i j] , (4.1.15)

S S 2

1 ab

and truncate to (h(ab) , h[αβ] ), where h[αβ] = 2 C αβ η h(ab) , leaving just an uncon-

strained symmetric tensor. Then, using (4.1.13), as well as

b α β

1 γa

2M Mγ = 12 C αβ (a b) − η ab α β , (4.1.16)

4.1. OSp(1,1|2) 55

and using the condition hα α = −ha a , we ﬁnd

L = 14 hab 2 hab − 12 hab ∂ b ∂ c ha c + 12 hc c ∂ a ∂ b hab − 14 ha a 2 hb b ,

δhab = − 12 ∂ (a Λb)α α . (4.1.17)

This is the linearized Einstein-Hilbert action for gravity.

The massive cases can be obtained by the dimensional reduction technique, as

in (2.2.9), since that’s how it was done for this entire procedure, from the light-cone

Poincaré algebra down to (4.1.6). (For the string, the OSp generators are represented

in terms of harmonic oscillators, and M αm M is cubic in those oscillators instead of

quadratic, so the oscillator expressions for the generators don’t follow from dimen-

sional reduction, and (4.1.6) must be used directly with the M αm M terms.) Techni-

cally, pm = m makes sense only for complex ﬁelds. However, at least for free theories,

the resulting i’s that appear in the pa pm crossterms can be removed by appropriate

redeﬁnitions for the complex ﬁelds, after which they can be chosen real. (See the dis-

cussion below (2.2.10).) For example, for the massive vector we replace Am → iAm

(and then take Am real) to obtain

φ = a Aa + im Am + α Aα , φ = Aa a − iAm m + A

α

α . (4.1.18)

The lagrangian and invariance then become

L = 12 Aa [(2 − m2 )Aa − ∂ a ∂ b Ab ] + 12 Am 2 Am + mAm ∂ a Aa

= 14 F ab 2 − 12 (mAa + ∂ a Am )2 ,

δAa = −∂ a λ , δAm = mλ . (4.1.19)

This gives a Stueckelberg formalism for a massive vector.

Other examples reproduce all the special cases of higher-spin ﬁelds proposed ear-

lier [4.3] (as well as cases that hadn’t been obtained previously). For example, for

totally symmetric tensors, the usual “double-tracelessness” condition is automatic:

Starting from the light cone with a totally symmetric and traceless tensor (in trans-

verse indices), extending i → (a, α) and restricting to Sp(2) singlets, directly gives a

totally symmetric and traceless tensor (in D-dimensional indices) of the same rank,

and one of rank 2 lower (but no lower than that, due to the total antisymmetry in

the Sp(2) indices).

The most important feature of the BRST method of deriving gauge-invariant

actions from light-cone (unitary) representations of the Poincaré group is that it

56 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

**automatically includes exactly the right number of auxiliary ﬁelds to make the action
**

local. In the case of Yang-Mills, the auxiliary ﬁeld (A− ) was obvious, since it results

directly from adding just 2 commuting dimensions (and not 2 anticommuting) to the

light cone, i.e., from making D − 2-dimensional indices D-dimensional. Furthermore,

the necessity of this ﬁeld for locality doesn’t occur until interactions are included

(see sect. 2.1). A less trivial example is the graviton: Naively, a traceless symmetric

D-dimensional tensor would be enough, since this would automatically include the

analog of A− . However, the BRST method automatically includes the trace of this

tensor. In general, the extra auxiliary ﬁelds with anticommuting “ghost-valued”

Lorentz indices are necessary for gauge-covariant, local formulations of ﬁeld theories

[4.4,5]. In order to study this phenomenon in more detail, and because the discussion

will be useful later in the 2D case for strings, we now give a brief discussion of general

relativity.

General relativity is the gauge theory of the Poincaré group. Since local trans-

lations (i.e., general coordinate transformations) include the orbital part of Lorentz

transformations (as translation by an amount linear in x), we choose as the group

generators ∂ m and the Lorentz spin M ab . Treating M ab as second-quantized opera-

tors, we indicate how they act by writing explicit “spin” vector indices a, b, . . . (or

spinor indices) on the ﬁelds, while using m, n, . . . for “orbital” vector indices on which

M ab doesn’t act, as on ∂ m . (The action of the second-quantized M ab follows from that

of the ﬁrst-quantized: E.g., from (4.1.8), (2.2.5), and the fact that (M ij )† = −M ij ,

we have M ab Ac = −η c[a Ab] .) The spin indices (but not the orbital ones) can be con-

tracted with the usual constant tensors of the Lorentz group (the Lorentz metric and

γ matrices). The (antihermitian) generators of gauge transformations are thus

λ = λm (x)∂ m + 12 λab (x)M ba , (4.1.20)

and the covariant derivatives are

∇a = ea m ∂ m + 12 ω a bc M cb , (4.1.21)

**where we have absorbed the usual derivative term, since derivatives are themselves
**

generators, and to make the covariant derivative transform covariantly under the

gauge transformations

∇a = eλ ∇a e−λ . (4.1.22)

Covariant ﬁeld strengths are deﬁned, as usual, by commutators of covariant deriva-

tives,

[∇a , ∇b ] = T ab c ∇c + 12 Rab cd M dc , (4.1.23)

4.1. OSp(1,1|2) 57

**since that automatically makes them transform covariantly (i.e., by a similarity trans-
**

formation, as in (4.1.22)), as a consequence of the transformation law (4.1.22) of the

covariant derivatives themselves. Without loss of generality, we can choose

T ab c = 0 , (4.1.24)

**since this just determines ω ab c in terms of ea m , and any other ω can always be written
**

as this ω plus a tensor that is a function of just T . (The theory could then always be

rewritten in terms of the T = 0 ∇ and T itself, making T an arbitrary extra tensor

with no special geometric signiﬁcance.) To solve this constraint we ﬁrst deﬁne

ea = ea m ∂ m ,

[ea , eb ] = cab c ec . (4.1.25)

cab c can then be expressed in terms of ea m , the matrix inverse em a ,

ea m em b = δ a b , em a ea n = δ m n , (4.1.26)

and their derivatives. The solution to (4.1.24) is then

ω abc = 12 (cbca − ca[bc] ) . (4.1.27)

**The usual global Lorentz transformations, which include orbital and spin pieces
**

together in a speciﬁc way, are a symmetry of the vacuum, deﬁned by

∇a

= κ∂ a ↔ ea m

= κδ a m . (4.1.28)

**κ is an arbitrary constant, which we can choose to be a unit of length, so that
**

∇ is dimensionless. (In D = 4 it’s just the usual gravitational coupling constant,

proportional to the square root of Newton’s gravitational constant.) As a result of

general coordinate invariance, any covariant object (i.e., a covariant derivative or

tensor with only spin indices uncontracted) will then also be dimensionless. The

subgroup of the original gauge group which leaves the vacuum (4.1.28) invariant

is just the usual (global) Poincaré group, which treats orbital and spin indices in

the same way. We can also treat these indices in a similar way with respect to

the full gauge group by using the “vielbein” ea m and its inverse to convert between

spin and orbital indices. In particular, the orbital indices on all ﬁelds except the

vielbein itself can be converted into spin ones. Also, since integration measures are

antisymmetric, converting dxm into Ωa = dxm em a converts dD x into ΩD = dD x e−1 ,

58 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

**where e = det(ea m ). On such covariant ﬁelds, ∇ always acts covariantly. On the
**

other hand, in the absence of spinors, all indices can be converted into orbital ones.

In particular, instead of the vielbein we could work with the metric tensor and its

inverse:

g mn = η ab em a en b , g mn = η ab ea m eb n . (4.1.29)

**Then, instead of ∇, we would need a covariant derivative which knows how to treat
**

uncontracted orbital indices covariantly.

**The action for gravity can be written as
**

S = − 12 dD x e−1 R , R = 12 Rab ba . (4.1.30)

**This can be rewritten in terms of cabc as
**

e−1 R = −∂ m (e−1 eam ca b b ) + e−1 − 12 (cab b )2 + 18 cabc cabc − 14 cabc cbca (4.1.31)

using

e−1 ea f a = ∂ m (e−1 eam f a ) + e−1 cab b f a . (4.1.32)

Expanding about the vacuum,

ea m = κδ a m + κD/2 ha m , (4.1.33)

**where we can choose eam (and thus ham ) to be symmetric by the λab transformation,
**

the linearized action is just (4.1.17). As an alternative form for the action, we can

consider making the ﬁeld redeﬁnition

ea m → φ−2/(D−2) ea m , (4.1.34)

which introduces the new gauge invariance of (Weyl) local scale transformations

ea m = eζ ea m , φ = e(D−2)ζ/2 φ . (4.1.35)

**(The gauge choice φ = constant returns the original ﬁelds.) Under the ﬁeld redeﬁni-
**

tion (4.1.34), the action (4.1.30) becomes

S→ dD x e−1 2 D−1 2 1

D−2 (∇a φ) − 2 Rφ

2

. (4.1.36)

**We have actually started from (4.1.30) without the total-derivative term of (4.1.31),
**

which is then a function of just ea m and its ﬁrst derivatives, and thus correct even at

boundaries. (We also dropped a total-derivative term −∂ m ( 12 φ2 e−1 eam ca b b ) in (4.1.36),

4.1. OSp(1,1|2) 59

**which will be irrelevant for the following discussion.) If we eliminate φ by its ﬁeld
**

equation, but keep surface terms, this becomes

S → dD x e−1 2 D−1

D−2 ∇ · (φ∇φ)

= dD x e−1 D−1

D−2 2 φ2

= dD x e−1 D−1

D−2 2 φ

2 + 2 φ

(φ − φ

) + (φ − φ

)2 (4.1.37)

**We can solve the φ ﬁeld equation as
**

1

φ = φ

1 − R . (4.1.38)

4 D−1

D−2

2 +R

(We can choose φ

= 1, or take the κ out of (4.1.28) and introduce it instead through

φ

= κ−(D−2)/2 by a global ζ transformation.) Assuming φ falls oﬀ to φ

fast enough

at ∞, the last term in (4.1.37) can be dropped, and, using (4.1.38), the action becomes

[4.6]

−1 1

S→ − 12 D

d xe R−R R . (4.1.39)

4 D−1

D−2

2 +R

Since this action has the invariance (4.1.35), we can gauge away the trace of h or,

equivalently, gauge the determinant of ea m to 1. In fact, the same action results from

(4.1.30) if we eliminate this determinant by its equation of motion.

Thus, we see that, although gauge-covariant, Lorentz-covariant formulations are

possible without the extra auxiliary ﬁelds, they are nonlocal. Furthermore, the non-

localities become more complicated when coupling to nonconformal matter (such as

massive ﬁelds), in a way reminiscent of Coulomb terms or the nonlocalities in light-

cone gauges. Thus, the construction of actions in such a formalism is not straightfor-

ward, and requires the use of Weyl invariance in a way analogous to the use of Lorentz

invariance in light-cone gauges. Another alternative is to eliminate the trace of the

metric from the Einstein action by a coordinate choice, but the remaining constrained

(volume-preserving) coordinate invariance causes diﬃculties in quantization [4.7].

We have also seen that some properties of gravity (the ones relating to conformal

transformations) become more transparent when the scale compensator φ is intro-

duced. (This is particularly true for supergravity.) Introducing such ﬁelds into the

OSp formalism requires introducing new degrees of freedom, to make the representa-

tion larger (at least in terms of gauge degrees of freedom). Although such invariances

are hard to recognize at the free level, the extensions of sect. 3.6 show signs of per-

forming such generalizations. However, while the U(1)-type extension can be applied

60 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

**to arbitrary Poincaré representations, the GL(1)-type has diﬃculty with fermions.
**

We’ll ﬁrst discuss this diﬃculty, then show how the 2 types diﬀer for bosons even for

the vector, and ﬁnally look again at gravity.

**The U(1) case of spin 1/2 reproduces the algebra of sect. 3.5, since M A B of
**

(3.6.12b) is exactly the extra term of (3.5.1):

M ij = 12 γ ij →

2 )(2 + Q

φ̄δ(M 2 )φ = φ̄δ( )eiγ + p//2 i 1 p iγ + p//2

αβ 2 /γ − e φ

= i 14 (γ − φ + i 12 γ − γ + p/φ)δ( )γ + p/(γ − φ + i 12 γ − γ + p/φ)

ˆ p/γ φ̂ ,

= i 12 φ̄ (4.1.40)

−

**where γ ij = 12 [γ i , γ j }, and we have used
**

0 = 18 (γ αβ + γ α β )(γ αβ + γ α β ) = (γ α γ α )2 + 4 → γ α γ α = 2i . (4.1.41)

**(We could equally well have chosen the other sign. This choice, with our conven-
**

tions, corresponds to harmonic-oscillator boundary conditions: See sect. 4.5.) After

eliminating γ + φ by gauge choice or, equivalently, by absorbing it into γ − φ by ﬁeld re-

deﬁnition, this becomes just ϕ̄/

pϕ. However, in the GL(1) case, the analog to (4.1.41)

is

0 = 18 ({γ α , γ β } + {γ α , γ β })({γ α , γ β } + {γ α , γ β }) = (γ α γ α )(γ β γ β ) ,

γ α γ α + γ α γ α = −4 , (4.1.42)

and to (4.1.40) is

2 + Q 2 = −p2 + 18 (γ α γ α )γ − (/p − γ + p2 ) + 18 (γ α γ α )(/p − γ + p2 )γ − .

(4.1.43)

Unfortunately, φ and φ̄ must have opposite boundary conditions γ α γ α = 0 or γ α γ α =

2 ), as is evidenced by the asymmetric

0 in order to contribute in the presence of δ(M αβ

**form of (4.1.43) for either choice. Consequently, the parts of φ and φ̄ that survive
**

are not hermitian conjugates of each other, and the action is not unitary. (Properly

speaking, if we choose consistent boundary conditions for both φ and φ̄, the action

vanishes.) Thus, the GL(1)-type OSp(1,1|2) is unsuitable for spinors unless further

modiﬁed. In any case, such a modiﬁcation would not treat bosons and fermions

symmetrically, which is necessary for treating supersymmetry. (Fermions in the usual

OSp formalism will be discussed in more detail in sect. 4.5.)

4.1. OSp(1,1|2) 61

**For the case of spin 1 (generalizing the light-cone Hilbert space, as in (4.1.7-8)),
**

we expand

φ = |a

Aa + i |−

A+ + i |+

A− , φ† = Aa a | − iA+ − | − iA− + | , (4.1.44)

**for the GL(1) case, and the same for U(1) with |+
**

→ |+

(Sp(2)-spinor ﬁelds again

drop out of the full φ). We ﬁnd for GL(1) [3.7]

L = − 14 F ab 2 − 12 (A− + ∂ · A)2 = − 14 F ab 2 − 12 Â− 2 , (4.1.45a)

where F ab = ∂ [a Ab] , and for U(1)

L = − 14 F ab 2 + 12 (A− + 12 2 A+ )2 = − 14 F ab 2 + 12 Â− 2 . (4.1.45b)

**In both cases A+ can be gauged away, and A− is auxiliary. However, the sign for
**

U(1)-type OSp(1,1|2) is the same as for auxiliary ﬁelds in supersymmetry (for oﬀ-shell

irreducible multiplets), whereas the sign for GL(1) is opposite. The sign diﬀerence

is not surprising, considering the U(1) and GL(1) types are Wick rotations of each

other: This auxiliary-ﬁeld term, together with the auxiliary component of Aa (the

light-cone A− ), appear with the metric η âb̂ of (3.6.1), and thus with the same sign

for SO(2) (U(1)). In fact, (4.1.45b) is just the part of the 4D N=1 super-Yang-Mills

lagrangian for ﬁelds which are R-symmetry invariant: A− can be identiﬁed with the

usual auxiliary ﬁeld, and A+ with the θ = 0 component of the superﬁeld. Similarly,

γ + φ for spin 1/2 can be identiﬁed with the linear-in-θ part of this superﬁeld. This

close analogy strongly suggests that the nonminimal ﬁelds of this formalism may

be necessary for treating supersymmetry. Note also that for GL(1) the auxiliary

automatically mixes with the spin-1 “gauge-ﬁxing” function, like a Nakanishi-Lautrup

ﬁeld, while for U(1) there is a kind of “parity” symmetry of the OSp(1,1|2) generators,

|A

→ − |A

, which prevents such mixing, and can be included in the usual parity

transformations to strengthen the identiﬁcation with supersymmetry.

For spin 2, for U(1) we deﬁne

1 1 1

φ = 12 hab √ (a b) + iAa + √ (a − ) + iAa − √ (a + )

2 2 2

1

+ ϕ++ |−

|−

+ ϕ+− √ (+ − ) + ϕ−− |+

|+

2

1

1

+ ϕ √ |α

|α

+ ϕ 12 α α + α α + ϕ √ α α , (4.1.46a)

2 2

subject to the tracelessness condition (hi i = 0)

1 a

2h a + ϕ+− − ϕ − ϕ = 0 , (4.1.46b)

62 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

and ﬁnd the lagrangian

**L = − 14 hab (p2 hab − 2pa pc hcb + 2pa pb hc c − η ab p2 hc c )
**

√

+ 12 (Aa− − 12 p2 Aa+ + pa pb Ab+ − i 2pa ϕ )2

√ 1

+ (ϕ+− − ϕ )( 2ϕ−− + p2 ϕ+− − 2p2 ϕ + √ p4 ϕ++ + p2 hb b − pb pc hbc )

2 2

1 2

√

= “R” + 2 Âa− + 2ϕ̂+− ϕ̂−− . (4.1.47)

**The second term is the square of an auxiliary “axial” vector (which again appears
**

with sign opposite to that in GL(1) [3.7]), which resembles the axial vector auxiliary

ﬁeld of supergravity (including terms which can be absorbed, as for spin 1). In the

last term, the redeﬁnition ϕ−− → ϕ̂−− involves the (linearized) Ricci scalar. Although

it’s diﬃcult to tell from the free theory, it may also be possible to identify some of

the gauge degrees of freedom with conformal compensators: ϕ with the compensator

for local R-symmetry, and ϕ+− (or ϕ or ϕ ; one is eliminated by the tracelessness

condition and one is auxiliary) with the local scale compensator.

A simple expression for interacting actions in terms of just the OSp(1,1|2) group

generators has not yet been found. (However, this is not the case for IGL(1): See the

following section.) The usual gauge-invariant interacting ﬁeld equations can be de-

rived by imposing J αβ φ = J −α φ = 0, which are required in a (anti)BRST formalism,

and ﬁnding the equations satisﬁed by the x− = xα = 0 sector. However, this requires

use of the other sectors as auxiliary ﬁelds, whereas in the approach described here

they would be gauge degrees of freedom.

These results for gauge-invariant actions from OSp(1,1|2) will be applied to the

special case of the string in chapt. 11.

4.2. IGL(1)

We now derive the corresponding gauge-invariant action in the IGL(1) formalism

and compare with the OSp(1,1|2) results. We begin with the form of the generators

(3.4.3b) obtained from the transformation (3.4.3a). For the IGL(1) formalism we can

then drop the zero-modes x− and c̃, and the action and invariance then are (using

δ(Q) = Q)

S=− dD xdc Φ† iQδ(J 3 ) Φ , δΦ = −iQΛ + J 3 Λ̂ . (4.2.1)

**This is the IGL(1) analog of (4.1.1). (This action also was ﬁrst proposed for the
**

string [4.8,9].) The δ(J 3 ) kills the sign factor in (3.4.4). However, even though some

4.2. IGL(1) 63

**unphysical coordinates have been eliminated, the ﬁeld is still a representation of the
**

spin group OSp(D-1,1|2) (or OSp(D,1|2)), and thus there is still a “hidden” Sp(2)

symmetry broken by this action (but only by auxiliary ﬁelds: see below).

**To obtain the analog of (4.1.6), we ﬁrst expand the ﬁeld in the single ghost
**

zero-mode c:

Φ = φ + icψ . (4.2.2)

**φ is the ﬁeld of the OSp(1,1|2) formalism after elimination of all its gauge zero-
**

modes, and ψ is an auxiliary ﬁeld (identiﬁed with the Nakanishi-Lautrup auxiliary

ﬁelds in the gauge-ﬁxed formalism [4.4,5]). If we expand the action (4.2.1) in c, using

(3.4.3b), and the reality condition on the ﬁeld to combine crossterms, we obtain, with

Qα = (Q+ , Q− ),

L =− dc Φ† iQδ(J 3 )Φ

= 12 φ† (2 − M 2 )δ(M 3 )φ − ψ † M + δ(M 3 + 1)ψ + 2ψ † Q+ δ(M 3 )φ . (4.2.3)

**As an example of this action, we again consider a massless vector. In analogy to
**

(4.1.7),

Φ = i φi + ic i ψ i . (4.2.4a)

**After the δ(J 3 ) projection, the only surviving ﬁelds are
**

Φ = a Aa + ic− B , (4.2.4b)

**where B is the auxiliary ﬁeld. Then, using the relations (from (4.1.8))
**

M 3 a = 0 , M 3 ± = ±± ;

M + a = M + + = 0 , M + − = 2i+ ;

M +a b = η ab + , M +a + =0 , M +a − = −ia ; (4.2.5)

we ﬁnd the lagrangian and invariance

L = 12 Aa 2 Aa − 2B 2 + 2B∂ a Aa ;

δAa = ∂ a λ , δB = 12 2 λ ; (4.2.6)

**which yields the usual result after elimination of B by its equation of motion. This
**

is the same lagrangian, including signs and auxiliary-ﬁeld redeﬁnitions, as for the

GL(1)-type 4+4-extended OSp(1,1|2), (4.1.45a).

64 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

**Any IGL(1) action can be obtained from a corresponding OSp(1,1|2) action, and
**

vice versa [3.13]. Eliminating ψ from (4.2.3) by its equation of motion,

δS

0= ∼ M + δ(M 3 + 1)ψ − Q+ δ(M 3 )φ

δψ †

→ L = 12 φ† (2 − M 2 − 2Q+ M +−1 Q+ )δ(M 3 )φ , (4.2.7)

**the OSp(1,1|2) action (4.1.6) is obtained:
**

(2 − M 2 − 2Q+ M +−1 Q+ ) δ(M 3 ) − δ(M αβ 2 )

= (2 − M 2 − 2Q+ M +−1 Q+ )M + M +−1 δ(M 3 )

= (2 − M 2 )M + − 2Q+ M +−1 M + Q+ M +−1 δ(M 3 )

= (2 − M 2 )M + − 2Q+2 M +−1 δ(M 3 )

=0

→ L = 12 φ† (2 − M 2 − 2Q+ M +−1 Q+ )δ(M αβ 2 )φ

= 12 φ† (2 − M 2 + Qα 2 )δ(M αβ 2 )φ . (4.2.8)

**We have also used Q+2 = (2 − M 2 )M + , which follows from the OSp commutation
**

relations, or from Q2 = 0. M +−1 is an Sp(2) lowering operator normalized so that

it is the inverse of the raising operator M + , except that it vanishes on states where

M 3 takes its minimum value [4.1]. It isn’t an inverse in the strict sense, since M +

vanishes on certain states, but it’s suﬃcient for it to satisfy

M + M +−1 M + = M + . (4.2.9)

**We can obtain an explicit expression for M +−1 using familiar properties of SO(3)
**

(SU(2)). The Sp(2) operators are related to the conventionally normalized SO(3)

operators by (M 3 , M ± ) = 2(T 3, T ± ). However, these are really SO(2,1) operators,

and so have unusual hermiticity conditions: T + and T − are each hermitian, while T 3

is antihermitian. Since for any SU(2) algebra T the commutation relations

[T 3 , T ± ] = ±T ± , [T + , T − ] = 2T 3 (4.2.10)

imply

T 2 = (T 3 )2 + 12 {T + , T − } = T (T +1) → T ∓ T ± = (T ∓T 3 )(T ±T 3 +1) , (4.2.11)

4.2. IGL(1) 65

**we can write
**

1 1 − δ T 3 ,T

T +−1 = T −

= T− . (4.2.12)

−

T T + (T − T )(T + T + 1)

3 3

We can then verify (4.2.9), as well as the identities

T +−1 T + T +−1 = T +−1 ,

T +−1 T + = 1 − δ T 3 ,T , T + T +−1 = 1 − δ T 3 ,−T . (4.2.13)

**Conversely, the IGL(1) action can be obtained by partial gauge-ﬁxing of the
**

OSp(1,1|2) action, by writing L of (4.2.3) as L of (4.2.7) plus a pure BRST variation.

Using the covariantly second-quantized BRST operator of sect. 3.4, we can write

L = L + Q, −φ† M +−1 [Q, δ(M 3 )φ]c . (4.2.14)

c

**Alternatively, we can use functional notation, deﬁning the operator
**

δ

Q=− dxdc (QΦ) . (4.2.15)

δΦ

the extra terms ﬁx the invariance generated by R, which

In terms of J + α = (R, R),

had allowed c to be gauged away. This also breaks the Sp(2) down to GL(1), and

breaks the antiBRST invariance. Another way to understand this is by reformulating

the IGL(1) in terms of a ﬁeld which has all the zero-modes of the OSp(1,1|2) ﬁeld Φ.

Consider the action

S=

dD xd2 xα dx− Φ† p+ δ(J 3 )iδ(J −+ )δ(R)δ(Q) Φ . (4.2.16)

**The gauge invariance is now given by the 4 generators appearing as arguments of the δ
**

functions, and is reduced from the OSp(1,1|2) case by the elimination of the generators

This algebra is the algebra GL(1|1) of N = 2 supersymmetric quantum

(J ± , R, Q).

mechanics (also appearing in the IGL(1) formalism for the closed string [4.10]: see

sect. 8.2): The 2 fermionic generators are the “supersymmetries,” J 3 + J −+ is the

O(2) generator which scales them, and J 3 − J −+ is the “momentum.” If the gauge

coordinates x− and c̃ are integrated out, the action (4.2.1) is obtained, as can be seen

with the aid of (3.4.3).

**In contrast to the light cone, where the hamiltonian operator H (= −p− ) is
**

essentially the action ((2.4.4)), we ﬁnd that with the new covariant, second-quantized

bracket of (3.4.7) the covariant action is the BRST operator: Because the action

66 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

**(2.4.8) of a generator (2.4.7) on Φ† is equivalent to the generator’s functional derivative
**

(because of (3.4.7)), the gauge-invariant action now thought of as an operator satisﬁes

δS

[S, Φ† ]c = 1

2 . (4.2.17)

δΦ

Furthermore, since the gauge-covariant equations of motion of the theory are given

by the BRST transformations generated by the operator Q, one has

δS

= −2i[Q, Φ† ]c (4.2.18)

δΦ

→ S = −iQ . (4.2.19)

**(Strictly speaking, S and Q may diﬀer by an irrelevant Φ-independent term.) This
**

statement can be applied to any formalism with ﬁeld equations that follow from the

BRST operator, independent of whether it originates from the light-cone, and it holds

in interacting theories as well as free ones. In particular, for the case of interacting

Yang-Mills, the action follows directly from (3.4.18). After restricting the ﬁelds to

J 3 = 0, this gives the interacting generalization of the example of (4.2.6). The action

1

can also be written as S = −2i dΦ QΦ, where dΦ Φn ≡ n+1

Φ† Φn .

This operator formalism is also useful for deriving the gauge invariances of the

interacting theory, in either the IGL(1) or OSp(1,1|2) formalisms (although the cor-

responding interacting action is known in this form only for IGL(1), (4.2.19).) Just

as the global BRST invariances can be written as a unitary transformation (in the

notation of (3.4.17))

U = eiLG , G =

O ,

= constant , (4.2.20)

**where O is any IGL(1) (or OSp(1,1|2)) operator (in covariant second-quantized form),
**

the gauge transformations can be written similarly but with

G = [f, O]c , (4.2.21)

where f is linear in Φ (f = ΛΦ) for the usual gauge transformation (and f ’s higher-

order in Φ may give ﬁeld-dependent gauge transformations). Thus, Φ = UΦU −1 ,

and g(Φ) = Ug(Φ)U −1 for any functional g of Φ. In the free case, this reproduces

(4.1.1,4.2.1).

This relation between OSp(1,1|2) and IGL(1) formalisms is important for relating

diﬀerent ﬁrst-quantizations of the string, as will be discussed in sect. 8.2.

4.3. Extra modes 67

4.3. Extra modes

**As discussed in sect. 3.2, extra sets of unphysical modes can be added to BRST
**

formalisms, such as those which Lorentz gauges have with respect to temporal gauges,

or those in the 4+4-extended formalisms of sect. 3.6. We now prove the equivalence

of the OSp(1,1|2) actions of formulations with and without such modes [3.13]. Given

that IGL(1) actions and equations of motion can be reduced to OSp forms, it’s suf-

ﬁcient to show the equivalence of the IGL actions with and without extra modes.

The BRST and ghost-number operators with extra modes, after the redeﬁnition of

(3.3.6), diﬀer from those without by the addition of abelian terms. We’ll prove that

the addition of these terms changes the IGL action (4.2.1) only by adding auxiliary

and gauge degrees of freedom. To prove this, we consider adding such terms 2 sets of

modes at a time (an even number of additional ghost modes is required to maintain

the fermionic statistics of the integration measure):

Q = Q0 + (b† f − f † b) ,

[b, g† ] = [g, b† ] = {c, f † } = {f, c† } = 1 , (4.3.1)

**in terms of the “old” BRST operator Q0 and the 2 new sets of modes b, g, c,
**

and f, and their hermitian conjugates. We also assume boundary conditions in the

new coordinates implied by the harmonic-oscillator notation. (Otherwise, additional

unphysical ﬁelds appear, and the new action isn’t equivalent to the original one: see

below.) By an explicit expansion of the new ﬁeld over all the new oscillators,

∞

1

Φ= (Amn + iB mn c† + iC mn f † + iD mn f † c† ) √ (b† )m (g† )n |0

, (4.3.2)

m,n=0 m!n!

we ﬁnd

Φ† QΦ = (A† Q0 A + 2B † Q0 C − D † Q0 D) + 2B † (b† D − ibA)

∞

= (A† mn Q0 Anm + 2B † mn Q0 C nm − D † mn Q0 D nm )

m,n=0

√ 1

+ 2B † mn ( nD n−1,m − i √ An,m+1 ) . (4.3.3)

m+1

**(The ground state in (4.3.2) and the matrix elements evaluated in (4.3.3) are with
**

respect to only the new oscillators.) We can therefore shift Amn by a Q0 C m,n−1 term

to cancel the B † Q0 C term (using Q0 2 = 0), and then B mn by a Q0 D m,n−1 term to

cancel the D † Q0 D term. We can then shift Amn by D m−1,n−1 to cancel the B † D

68 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

**term, leaving only the A† Q0 A and B † A terms. (These redeﬁnitions are equivalent to
**

the gauge choices C = D = 0 using the usual invariance δΦ = QΛ.) Finally, we can

eliminate the Lagrange multipliers B by their equations of motion, which eliminate

all of A except Am0 , and from the form of the remaining A† Q0 A term we ﬁnd that

all the remaining components of A except A00 drop out (i.e., are pure gauge). This

leaves only the term A† 00 Q0 A00 . Thus, all the components except the ground state

with respect to the new oscillators can be eliminated as auxiliary or gauge degrees of

freedom. The net result is that all the new oscillators are eliminated from the ﬁelds

and operators in the action (4.2.1), with Q thus replaced by Q0 (and similarly for J 3 ).

(A similar analysis can be performed directly on the equations of motion QΦ = 0,

giving this general result for the cohomology of Q even in cases when the action is not

given by (4.2.1).) This elimination of new modes required that the creation operators

in (4.3.3) be left-invertible:

1 1

a†−1 a† = 1 → a†−1 = a= a → N ≥0 , (4.3.4)

a† a+1 N +1

implying that all states must be expressible as creation operators acting on a ground

state, as in (4.3.2) (the usual boundary conditions on harmonic oscillator wave func-

tions, except that here b and g correspond to a space of indeﬁnite metric). This

proves the equivalence of the IGL(1) actions, and thus, by the previous argument,

also the OSp(1,1|2) actions, with and without extra modes, and that the extra modes

simply introduce more gauge and auxiliary degrees of freedom.

Such extra modes, although redundant in free theories, may be useful in formulat-

ing larger gauge invariances which simplify the form of interacting theories (as, e.g.,

in nonlinear σ models). The use in string theories of such extra modes corresponding

to the world-sheet metric will be discussed in sect. 8.3.

4.4. Gauge fixing

We now consider gauge ﬁxing of these gauge-invariant actions using the BRST

algebra from the light cone, and relate this method to the standard second-quantized

BRST methods described in sects. 3.1-3 [4.1]. We will ﬁnd that the ﬁrst-quantized

BRST transformations of the ﬁelds in the usual gauge-ﬁxed action are identical to the

second-quantized BRST transformations, but the ﬁrst-quantized BRST formalism has

a larger set of ﬁelds, some of which drop out of the usual gauge-ﬁxed action. (E.g., see

(3.4.19). However, gauges exist where these ﬁelds also appear.) Even in the IGL(1)

formalism, although all the “propagating” ﬁelds appear, only a subset of the BRST

4.4. Gauge fixing 69

**“auxiliary” ﬁelds appear, since the two sets are equal in number in the ﬁrst-quantized
**

IGL(1) but the BRST auxiliaries are fewer in the usual second-quantized formalism.

We will also consider gauge ﬁxing to the light-cone gauge, and reobtain the original

light-cone theories to which 2+2 dimensions were added.

For covariant gauge ﬁxing we will work primarily within the IGL(1) formalism,

but similar methods apply to OSp(1,1|2). Since the entire “hamiltonian” 2 − M 2

vanishes under the constraint Q = 0 (acting on the ﬁeld), the free gauge-ﬁxed action

of the ﬁeld theory consists of only a “gauge-ﬁxing” term:

1 †

S = i Q, dxdc 2 Φ OΦ

c

= dxdc 12 Φ† [O, iQ}Φ

= dxdc 12 Φ† KΦ , (4.4.1)

**for some operator O, where the ﬁrst Q, appearing in the covariant bracket, is under-
**

stood to be the second-quantized one. In order to get 2 − M 2 as the kinetic operator

for part of Φ, we choose

∂ ∂ +

O = − c, → K = c(2 − M 2 ) − 2 M . (4.4.2)

∂c ∂c

When expanding the ﬁeld in c, 2 −M 2 is the kinetic operator for the piece containing

all physical and ghost ﬁelds. Explicitly, (3.4.3b), when substituted into the lagrangian

L = 12 Φ† KΦ and integrated over c, gives

∂

L = 12 φ† (2 − M 2 )φ + ψ † M + ψ , (4.4.3)

∂c

and in the BRST transformations δΦ = i

QΦ gives

δφ = i

(Q+ φ − M + ψ) , δψ = i

Q+ ψ − 12 (2 − M 2 )φ) . (4.4.4)

**φ contains propagating ﬁelds and ψ contains BRST auxiliary ﬁelds. Although the
**

propagating ﬁelds are completely gauge-ﬁxed, the BRST auxiliary ﬁelds have the

gauge invariance

δψ = λ , M +λ = 0 . (4.4.5)

**The simplest case is the scalar Φ = ϕ(x). In this case, all of ψ can be gauged away
**

by (4.4.5), since M + = 0. The lagrangian is just 12 ϕ(2 − m2 )ϕ. For the massless

vector (cf. (4.2.4b)),

Φ = i Ai + ic− B , (4.4.6)

70 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

**where we have again used (4.4.5). By comparing (4.4.3) with (4.2.3), we see that the
**

φ2 term is extended to all J 3 , the ψ 2 term has the opposite sign, and the crossterm

is dropped. We thus ﬁnd

L = 12 (Ai )† 2 Ai + 2B 2 = 12 Aa 2 Aa − iC 2 C + 2B 2 , (4.4.7)

due to (3.4.4,13). This agrees with the result

where we have written Aα = i(C, C),

The BRST transformations (4.4.4),

(3.2.11) in the gauge ζ = 1, where this B = 12 B.

using (4.2.5), are

δAa = i

∂ a C ,

δC = 0 ,

δ C =

(2B − ∂ · A) ,

δB = i 12

2 C , (4.4.8)

**which agrees with the linearized case of (3.2.8).
**

We next prove the equivalence of this form of gauge ﬁxing with the usual ap-

proach, described in sect. 3.2 [4.1] (as we have just proven for the case of the massless

vector). The steps are: (1) Add terms to the original BRST auxiliary ﬁelds, which

vanish on shell, to make them BRST invariant, as they are in the usual BRST for-

in (3.2.11).)

mulation of ﬁeld theory. (In Yang-Mills, this is the redeﬁnition B → B

(2) Use the BRST transformations to identify the physical ﬁelds (which may include

auxiliary components). We can then reobtain the gauge-invariant action by dropping

all other ﬁelds from the lagrangian, with the gauge transformations given by replacing

the ghosts in the BRST transformations by gauge parameters.

In the lagrangian (4.4.3) only the part of the BRST auxiliary ﬁeld ψ which appears

in M + ψ occurs in the action; the rest of ψ is pure gauge and drops out of the action.

Thus, we only require that the shifted M + ψ be BRST-invariant:

ψ = ψ + Aφ , δM + ψ = 0 . (4.4.9)

Using the BRST transformations (4.4.4) and the identities (from (3.4.3b))

Q2 = 0 → [2 − M 2 , M + ] = [2 − M 2 , Q+ ] = [M + , Q+ ] = 0 ,

Q+2 = 12 (2 − M 2 )M + , (4.4.10)

we obtain the conditions on A:

(Q+ − M + A)Q+ = (Q+ − M + A)M + = 0 . (4.4.11)

4.4. Gauge fixing 71

The solution to these equations is

A = M +−1 Q+ . (4.4.12)

**Performing the shift (4.4.9), the gauge-ﬁxed lagrangian takes the form
**

∂

L = 12 φ† K̂φ + 2ψ† (1 − δ M 3 ,−2T )Q+ φ + ψ† M + ψ , (4.4.13a)

∂c

K̂ = 2 − M 2 − 2Q+ M +−1 Q+ , (4.4.13b)

**where T is the “isospin,” as in (4.2.11), for M αβ . The BRST transformations can
**

now be written as

δδ M 3 ,−2T φ =

δ M 3 ,−2T Q+ φ , δ(1 − δ M 3 ,−2T )φ = −

M + ψ ,

δ ψ =

δ M 3 ,2T (Q+ ψ − 12 K̂φ) . (4.4.14)

**The BRST transformation of ψ is pure gauge, and can be dropped. (In some of
**

the manipulations we have used the fact that Q, Q+ , and 2 − M 2 are symmetric,

i.e., even under integration by parts, while M + is antisymmetric, and Q and Q are

antihermitian while M + and 2 − M 2 are hermitian. In a coordinate representa-

tion, particularly for c, all symmetry generators, such as Q, Q+ , and M + , would be

antisymmetric, since the ﬁelds would be real.)

but we

We can now throw away the BRST-invariant BRST auxiliary ﬁelds ψ,

must also separate the ghost ﬁelds in φ from the physical ones. According to the

usual BRST procedure, the physical modes of a theory are those which are both

BRST-invariant and have vanishing ghost number (as well as satisfy the ﬁeld equa-

tions). In particular, physical ﬁelds may transform into ghosts (corresponding to

gauge transformations, since the gauge pieces are unphysical), but never transform

into BRST auxiliary ﬁelds. Therefore, from (4.4.14) we must require that the phys-

ical ﬁelds have M 3 = −2T to avoid transforming into BRST auxiliary ﬁelds, but we

also require vanishing ghost number M 3 = 0. Hence, the physical ﬁelds (located in

φ) are selected by requiring the simple condition of vanishing isospin T = 0. If we

project out the ghosts with the projection operator δ T 0 and use the identity (4.2.8),

we obtain a lagrangian containing only physical ﬁelds:

L1 = 12 φ† (2 − M 2 + Q2 )δ T 0 φ . (4.4.15)

**Its gauge invariance is obtained from the BRST transformations by replacing the
**

ghosts (the part of φ appearing on the right-hand side of the transformation law)

72 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

**with the gauge parameter (the reverse of the usual BRST quantization procedure),
**

and we add gauge transformations to gauge away the part of φ with T = 0:

δφ = −i 12 Qα Λα + 12 M αβ Λαβ , (4.4.16)

**where we have obtained the Q− term from closure of Q+ with M αβ . The invariance
**

of (4.4.15) under (4.4.16) can be veriﬁed using the above identities. This action and

invariance are just the original ones of the OSp(1,1|2) gauge-invariant formalism (or

the IGL(1) one, after eliminating the NL auxiliary ﬁelds). The gauge-ﬁxing functions

for the Λ transformations are also given by the BRST transformations: They are the

transformations of ghosts into physical ﬁelds:

F GF = Q+ δ T 0 φ = pa (M + a δ T 0 φ) + M(M + m δ T 0 φ) . (4.4.17)

**(The ﬁrst term is the usual Lorentz-gauge gauge-ﬁxing function for massless ﬁelds,
**

the second term the usual addition for Stueckelberg/Higgs ﬁelds.) The gauge-ﬁxed

lagrangian (physical ﬁelds only) is thus

LGF = L1 − 14 F GF † M − F GF = 12 φ† (2 − M 2 )δ T 0 φ , (4.4.18)

in agreement with (4.4.3).

**In summary, we see that this ﬁrst-quantized gauge-ﬁxing procedure is identical
**

to the second-quantized one with regard to (1) the physical gauge ﬁelds, their gauge

transformations, and the gauge-invariant action, (2) the BRST transformations of the

physical ﬁelds, (3) the closure of the BRST algebra, (4) the BRST invariance of the

gauge-ﬁxed action, and (5) the invertibility of the kinetic operator after elimination

of the NL ﬁelds. (1) implies that the two theories are physically the same, (2) and

(3) imply that the BRST operators are the same, up to additional modes as in sect.

4.3, (4) implies that both are correctly gauge ﬁxed (but perhaps in diﬀerent gauges),

and (5) implies that all gauge invariances have been ﬁxed, including those of ghosts.

Concerning the extra modes, from the 2 −M 2 form of the gauge-ﬁxed kinetic operator

we see that they are exactly the ones necessary to give good high-energy behavior of

the propagator, and that we have chosen a generalized Fermi-Feynman gauge. Also,

note the fact that the c = 0 (or xα = 0) part of the ﬁeld contains exactly the right

set of ghost ﬁelds, as was manifest by the arguments of sect. 2.6, whereas in the usual

second-quantized formalism one begins with just the physical ﬁelds manifest, and the

ghosts and their ghosts, etc., must be found by a step-by-step procedure. Thus we

see that the OSp from the light cone not only gives a straightforward way for deriving

4.4. Gauge fixing 73

**general free gauge-invariant actions, but also gives a method for gauge ﬁxing which
**

is equivalent to, but more direct than, the usual methods.

**We now consider gauge ﬁxing to the light cone. In this gauge the gauge theory
**

reduces back to the original light-cone theory from which it was heuristically obtained

by adding 2+2 dimensions in sects. 3.4, 4.1. This proves a general “no-ghost theo-

rem,” that the OSp(1,1|2) (and IGL(1)) gauge theory is equivalent on-shell to the

corresponding light-cone theory, for any Poincaré representation (including strings as

a special case).

**Consider an arbitrary bosonic gauge ﬁeld theory, with action (4.1.6). (Fermions
**

will be considered in the following section.) Without loss of generality, we can choose

M 2 = 0, since the massive action can be obtained by dimensional reduction. The

light-cone gauge is then described by the gauge-ﬁxed ﬁeld equations

p2 φ = 0 (4.4.19a)

subject to the gauge conditions, in the Lorentz frame pa = δ a + p+ ,

M αβ φ = 0 , Qα φ = M α− p+ φ = 0 , (4.4.19b)

with the residual part of the gauge invariance

δφ = −i 12 Qα Λα ∼ M α− Λα , (4.4.19c)

**where ± now refer to the usual “longitudinal” Lorentz indices. (The light-cone gauge
**

is thus a further gauge-ﬁxing of the Landau gauge, which uses only (4.4.19ab).)

(4.4.19bc) imply that the only surviving ﬁelds are singlets of the new OSp(1,1|2)

algebra generated by M αβ , M α± , M −+ (with longitudinal Lorentz indices ±): i.e.,

those which satisfy M AB φ = 0 and can’t be gauged away by δφ = M BA ΛAB .

**We therefore need to consider the subgroup SO(D−2)⊗OSp(1,1|2) of OSp(D−1,1|2)
**

(the spin group obtained by adding 2+2 dimensions to the original SO(D−2)), and

determine which parts of an irreducible OSp(D−1,12) representation are OSp(1,1|2)

singlets. This is done most simply by considering the corresponding Young tableaux

(which is also the most convenient method for adding 2+2 dimensions to the original

representation of the light-cone SO(D−2)). This means considering tensor prod-

ucts of the vector (deﬁning) representation with various graded symmetrizations and

antisymmetrizations, and (graded) tracelessness conditions on all the indices. The

obvious OSp(1,1|2) singlet is given by allowing all the vector indices to take only

74 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

**SO(D−2) values. However, the resulting SO(D−2) representation is reducible, since
**

it is not SO(D−2)-traceless. The OSp(D−1,1|2)-tracelessness condition equates its

SO(D−2)-traces to OSp(1,1|2)-traces of representations which diﬀer only by replacing

the traced SO(D−2) indices with traced OSp(1,1|2) ones. However, OSp(1,1|2) (or

OSp(2N|2N) more generally) has the unusual property that its traces are not true

singlets. The simplest example [4.11] (and one which we’ll show is suﬃcient to treat

the general case) is the graviton of (4.1.15). Considering just the OSp(1,1|2) values

of the indices, there are 2 states which are singlets under the bosonic subgroup GL(2)

generated by M αβ , M −+ , namely (+ −) , |α

|α

. However, of these two states, one

linear combination is pure gauge and one is pure auxiliary:

φ1 = A A → M AB φ1 = 0 , but

φ1= − 12 M ± α (∓ α) ,

φ2 = (+ −) − α α → φ2= M AB ΛBA , but

M ±α φ2 = −2(± α) = 0 . (4.4.20)

**This result is due basically to the fact that the graded trace can’t be separated out
**

in the usual way with the metric because of the identity

η AB η BA = η A A = (−1)A δ A A = 2 − 2 = 0 . (4.4.21)

**Similarly, the reducible OSp(1,1|2) representation which consists of the unsymmetrized
**

direct product of an arbitrary number of vector representations will contain no sin-

glets, since any one trace reduces to the case just considered, and thus the represen-

tations which result from graded symmetrizations and antisymmetrizations will also

contain none. Thus, no SO(D−2)-traces of the original OSp(D−1,1|2) representation

need be considered, since they are equated to OSp(1,1|2)-nonsinglet traces by the

OSp(D−1,1|2)-tracelessness condition. Hence, the only surviving SO(D−2) repre-

sentation is the original irreducible light-cone one, obtained by restricting all vector

indices to their SO(D−2) values and imposing SO(D−2)-tracelessness.

**These methods apply directly to open strings. The modiﬁcation for closed strings
**

will be discussed in sect. 11.1.

4.5. Fermions 75

4.5. Fermions

The results of this section are based on the OSp(1,1|2) algebra of sect. 3.5.

**The action and invariances are again given by (4.1.1), with the modiﬁed J AB of
**

. We also allow for the inclu-

sect. 3.5, and (4.1.3) is unchanged except for M αβ → M αβ

**sion of a matrix factor in the Hilbert-space metric to maintain the (pseudo)hermiticity
**

of the spin operators (e.g., γ 0 for a Dirac spinor, so Φ† → Φ̄ = Φ† γ 0 ). Under the

action of the δ functions, we can make the replacement

p+ 2 J −α 2 → − 34 (p2 + M 2 ) + (M α b pb + M αm M)2

− 12 γ̃ α (M α b pb + M αm M) γ̃ − + γ̃ + 21 (p2 + M 2 ) , (4.5.1)

**where p2 ≡ pa pa . Under the action of the same δ functions, the gauge transformation
**

generated by J −α is replaced with

δΦ = J − α Λα → (M αb pb + M α m M) − 12 γ̃ α γ̃ − + γ̃ + 21 (p2 + M 2 ) Λα .

(4.5.2)

Choosing Λα = γ̃ α Λ, the γ̃ − part of this gauge transformation can be used to choose

the partial gauge

γ̃ + Φ = 0 . (4.5.3)

**The action then becomes
**

S= 2 )iγ̃ α (M b p + M M) φ ,

dD x φ̄ δ(M (4.5.4)

αβ α b αm

**where we have reduced Φ to the half represented by φ by using (4.5.3). (The γ̃ ± can
**

be represented as 2×2 matrices.) The remaining part of (4.5.2), together with the

J αβ transformation, can be written in terms of γ̃ ± -independent parameters as

δφ = (M αb pb + M α m M)(Aα + 12 γ̃ α γ̃ β Aβ ) + − 14 (p2 + M 2 ) + (M α b pb + M αm M)2 B

αβ Λ

+ 12 M . (4.5.5)

αβ

**One way to get general irreducible spinor representations of orthogonal groups
**

(except for chirality conditions) is to take the direct product of a Dirac spinor with an

irreducible tensor representation, and then constrain it by setting to zero the result of

multiplying by a γ matrix and contracting vector indices. Since the OSp representa-

tions used here are obtained by dimensional continuation, this means we use the same

constraints, with the vector indices i running over all commuting and anticommuting

76 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

**values (including m, if we choose to deﬁne M im by dimensional reduction from one
**

extra dimension). The OSp spin operators can then be written as

M ij = M̌ ij + 14 [γ i , γ j } , (4.5.6)

**where M̌ are the spin operators for some tensor representation and γ i are the OSp
**

Dirac matrices, satisfying the OSp Cliﬀord algebra

{γ i , γ j ] = 2η ij . (4.5.7)

We choose similar relations between γ’s and γ̃’s:

{γ i , γ̃ B ] = 0 . (4.5.8)

**Then, noting that 12 (γ α +iγ̃ α ) and 12 (γ α −iγ̃ α ) satisfy the same commutation relations
**

as creation and annihilation operators, respectively, we deﬁne

γ α = aα + a† α , γ̃ α = i aα − a† α ; aα , a†β = δ α β . (4.5.9)

**We also ﬁnd
**

= M̌

M †

αβ αβ + a (α aβ) . (4.5.10)

**This means that an arbitrary representation ψ (α···β) of the part of the Sp(2) generated
**

by M̌ αβ that is also a singlet under the full Sp(2) generated by M αβ can be written

as

ψ (α···β) = a† α · · · a† β ψ , aα ψ = 0 . (4.5.11)

**In particular, for a Dirac spinor M̌ = 0, so the action (4.5.4) becomes simply (see
**

also (4.1.40))

S= dD x φ̄(/

p + M)φ

/ , (4.5.12)

**/ ≡ γ m M (γ m is like γ 5 ), all dependence on γ α and γ̃ α has
**

where p/ ≡ γ a pa , M

been eliminated, and the gauge transformation (4.5.5) vanishes. (The transformation

/ → p/ + iM.)

φ → eiγ m π/4 φ takes p/ + M

**In the case of the gravitino, we start with φ = |i
**

φi , where |i

is a basis for

φ = 0 but also the

the representation of M̌ (only). φ must satisfy not only M αβ

irreducibility condition

γ i φi = 0 → φα = 12 γ α γ a φa , aα φa = 0 . (4.5.13)

4.5. Fermions 77

**(a† α or iγ̃ α could be used in place of γ α in the solution for φα .) Then using (4.1.8)
**

for M̌ on φ, straightforward algebra gives the action

S = dD x φ̄a (η ab p/ − p(a γ b) + γ a p/γ b )φb

= dD x φ̄a γ abc pb φc , (4.5.14)

**where γ abc = (1/3!)γ [a γ b γ c] , giving the usual gravitino action for arbitrary D. The
**

gauge invariance remaining in (4.5.5) after using (4.5.13-14), and making suitable

redeﬁnitions, reduces to the usual

δφa = ∂ a λ . (4.5.15)

**We now derive an alternative form of the fermionic action which corresponds to
**

actions given in the literature for fermionic strings. Instead of explicitly solving the

constraint M

αβ = 0 as in (4.5.11), we use the M αβ gauge invariance of (4.5.5) to

**“rotate” the aα† ’s. For example, writing aα = (a+ , a− ), we can rotate them so they
**

all point in the “+” direction: Then we need consider only φ’s of the form φ(a+† ) |0

.

2 ) then

(The + value of α should not be confused with the + index on p+ .) The δ(M αβ

**picks out the piece of the form (4.5.11). (It “smears” over directions in Sp(2). This
**

use of aα is similar to the “harmonic coordinates” of harmonic superspace [4.12].) We

can also pick

+† a−†

φ = e−ia φ(a+† ) |0

, (4.5.16a)

projection) just redeﬁnes some components by

since the exponential (after δ(M)

shifting by components of lower M̌ -spin. In this gauge, writing γ α = (s, u), γ̃ α =

(s̃, ũ), we can rewrite φ as

+† a−†

0̃ = e−ia |0

↔ s̃ 0̃ = u 0̃ = 0 ,

φ = φ(s) 0̃ ↔ s̃φ = 0 . (4.5.16b)

**By using an appropriate (indeﬁnite-metric) coherent-state formalism, we can choose
**

s to be a coordinate (and u = −2i∂/∂s). We next make the replacement

2 + ∂ 2 3

δ(M αβ ) → ds µ(s) δ(2M̌ + s )δ M̌ + s (4.5.17)

∂s

**after pushing it to the right in (4.5.4) so it hits the φ, where we have just replaced
**

2 = 0 with M

projection onto M + = M

3 = 0 (which implies M

− = 0). The ﬁrst δ

αβ

**function factor is a Dirac δ function, while the second is a Kronecker δ. µ(s) is an
**

78 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

**appropriate measure factor; instead of determining it by an explicit use of coherent
**

states, we ﬁx it by comparison with the simplest case of the Dirac spinor: Using

ds

(s)δ(s2 + r 2 )(a + bs) = b , (4.5.18a)

we ﬁnd

µ(s) ∼

(s) . (4.5.18b)

Then only the ũ term of (4.5.4) contributes in this gauge, and we obtain (the ũ itself

having already been absorbed into the measure (4.5.18b))

+ + 2 ∂ 3

S = −2 d x ds

(s) φ̄ Q δ(2M̌ + s )δ M̌ + s

D

φ . (4.5.19)

∂s

(All dependence on γ α and γ̃ α has been reduced to φ being a function of just s. This

action was ﬁrst proposed for the string [4.13].) Since the ﬁrst δ function can be used

to replace any s2 with a −2M̌ + , we can perform all such replacements, or equivalently

choose the gauge

φ(s) = φ0 + sφ1 . (4.5.20)

(An equivalent procedure was performed for the string in [4.14].) For the Dirac spinor,

after integration over s (including that in Q+ = 12 s(/

p + M)),

/ the Dirac action is easily

found (φ1 drops out). For general spinor representations, Q+ has an additional Q̌+

term, and s integration gives the lagrangian

L = φ̄0 (/

p + M)δ(

/ M̌ 3 )φ0 + 2 φ̄1 Q̌+ δ(M̌ 3 )φ0 − φ̄0 Q̌+ δ(M̌ 3 + 1)φ1 . (4.5.21)

**However, γ-matrix trace constraints (such as (4.5.13)) must still be solved to relate
**

the components.

The explicit form of the OSp(1,1|2) operators for the fermionic string to use with

these results follows from the light-cone Poincaré generators which will be derived in

sect. 7.2. The s dependence of Q+ is then slightly more complicated (it also has a

∂/∂s term). (The resulting action ﬁrst appeared in [4.14,15].)

The proof of equivalence to the light cone is similar to that for bosons in the

previous section. Again considering the massless case, the basic diﬀerence is that we

now have to use, from (3.5.3b),

=M

M =M p +S

Q

αβ αβ + S αβ , α α− + −α , (4.5.22)

**and other corresponding generators, as generating the new OSp(1,1|2). This is just
**

the diagonal OSp(1,1|2) obtained from S AB and the one used in the bosonic case.

Exercises 79

**In analogy to the bosonic case, we consider reducible OSp(D−1,1|2) representations
**

corresponding to direct products of arbitrary numbers of vector representations with

one spinor representation (represented by graded γ-matrices). We then take the direct

product of this with the S AB representation, which is an OSp(1,1|2) spinor but an

SO(D−2) scalar. Since the direct product of 2 OSp(1,1|2) spinors gives the direct

sum of all (graded) antisymmetric tensor representations, each once (by the usual

γ-matrix decomposition), from the bosonic result we see that the only way to get an

OSp(1,1|2) singlet is if all vector indices again take only their SO(D−2) values. The

OSp(D−1,1|2) spinor is the direct product of an SO(D−2) spinor with an OSp(1,1|2)

spinor, so the net result is the original light-cone one. In the bosonic case traces in

OSp(1,1|2) vector indices did not give singlets because of (4.4.21); a similar result

holds for γ-matrix traces because of

γ Aγ A = ηAA = 0 . (4.5.23)

**More general representations for S AB could be considered, e.g., as in sect. 3.6. The
**

and Q

action can then be rewritten as (4.1.6), but with M αβ and Qα replaced by M

αβ α

**of (3.5.3b). In analogy to (4.5.2,3), the S −α part of the J −α transformation can be used
**

to choose the gauge S +α Φ = 0. Then, depending on whether the representation allows

application of the “lowering” operators S −α 0,1, or 2 times, only the terms of zeroth,

ﬁrst, or second order in S −α , respectively, can contribute in the kinetic operator.

Since these terms are respectively second, ﬁrst, and zeroth order in derivatives, they

can be used to describe bosons, fermions, and auxiliary ﬁelds.

The argument for equivalence to the light cone directly generalizes to the U(1)-

type 4+4-extended OSp(1,1|2) of sect. 3.6. Then M AB = M AB + S AB has a singlet

**only when M AB and S AB are both singlets (for bosons) or both Dirac spinors (for
**

fermions).

Exercises

(1) Derive (4.1.5).

(2) Derive (4.1.6).

(3) Find the gauge-invariant theory resulting from the light-cone theory of a totally

symmetric, traceless tensor of arbitrary rank.

(4) Find the explicit inﬁnitesimal gauge transformations of ea m , em a , e−1 , g mn , g mn ,

and ω abc from (4.1.20-22). Linearize, and show the gauge e[am] = 0 can be ob-

80 4. GENERAL GAUGE THEORIES

**tained with λab . Find the transformation for a covariant vector Aa (from a simi-
**

larity transformation, like (4.1.22)).

**(5) Write cabc explicitly in terms of ea m . Find T abc and Rabcd in terms of cabc and
**

ω abc . Derive (4.1.31). Linearize to get (4.1.17).

**(6) Find an expression for ω abc when (4.1.24) is not imposed, in terms of T abc and
**

the ω of (4.1.27).

**(7) Derive global Poincaré transformations by ﬁnding the subgroup of (4.1.20) which
**

leaves (4.1.28) invariant.

(8) Find the ﬁeld equation for φ from (4.1.36), and show that (4.1.38) satisﬁes it.

**(9) Derive the gauge-covariant action for gravity in the GL(1)-type 4+4-extension of
**

OSp(1,1|2), and compare with the U(1) result, (4.1.47).

**(10) Find the BRST transformations for the IGL(1) formalism of sect. 4.2 (BRST1,
**

derived from the light cone) for free gravity. Find those for the usual IGL(1) for-

malism of sect. 3.2 (BRST2, derived from second-quantizing the gauge-invariant

ﬁeld theory). After suitable redeﬁnitions of the BRST1 ﬁelds (including aux-

iliaries and ghosts), show that a subset of these ﬁelds that corresponds to the

complete set of ﬁelds in the BRST2 formalism has identical BRST transforma-

tions.

(11) Formulate φ3 theory as in (4.2.19), using the bracket of (3.4.7).

**(12) Derive the gauge transformations for interacting Yang-Mills by the covariant
**

second-quantized operator method of (4.2.21), in both the IGL(1) and OSp(1,1|2)

formalisms.

**(13) Find the free gauge-invariant action for gravity in the IGL(1) formalism, and
**

compare with the OSp(1,1|2) result (4.1.17). Find the gauge-ﬁxed action by

(4.4.1-5).

**(14) Perform IGL(1) gauge-ﬁxing, as in sect. 4.4, for a second-rank antisymmetric
**

tensor gauge ﬁeld. Perform the analogous gauge ﬁxing by the method of sect.

3.2, and compare. Note that there are scalar commuting ghosts which can be

interpreted as the ghosts for the gauge invariances of the vector ghosts (“ghosts

for ghosts”).

(15) Derive (4.5.14,15).

5.1. Bosonic 81

5. PARTICLE

5.1. Bosonic

**If coordinates are considered as ﬁelds, and their arguments as the coordinates of
**

small spacetimes, then the mechanics of particles and strings can be considered as

1- and 2-dimensional ﬁeld theories, respectively (see sect. 1.1). (However, to avoid

confusion, we will avoid referring to mechanics theories as ﬁeld theories.) Thus, the

particle is a useful analog of the string in one lower “dimension”, and we here review

its properties that will be found useful below for the string.

As described in sect. 3.1, the mechanics action for any relativistic particle is

completely determined by the constraints it satisﬁes, which are equivalent to the free

equations of motion of the corresponding ﬁeld theory. The ﬁrst-order (hamiltonian)

form ((3.1.10)) is more convenient than the second-order one because (1) it makes

canonical conjugates explicit, (2) the inverse propagator (and, in more general cases,

all other operator equations of motion) can be directly read oﬀ as the hamiltonian, (3)

path-integral quantization is easier, and (4) treatment of the supersymmetric case is

clearer. The simplest example is a massless, spinless particle, whose only constraint

is the Klein-Gordon equation p2 = 0. From (3.1.10), the action [5.1] can thus be

written in ﬁrst-order form as

S=

dτ L ,

.

L = x · p − g 21 p2 , (5.1.1)

**. = ∂/∂τ . The action is invariant under Poincaré trans-
**

where τ is the proper time, of which the position x, momentum p, and 1-dimensional

metric g are functions, and

formations in the higher-dimensional spacetime described by x, as well as 1D general

coordinate transformations (τ -reparametrizations). The latter can be obtained from

(3.1.11):

δx = ζp , δp = 0 , δg = ζ

. . (5.1.2)

**These diﬀer from the usual transformations by terms which vanish on shell: In general,
**

any action with more than one ﬁeld is invariant under δφi = λij δS/δφj , where λij is

82 5. PARTICLE

**antisymmetric. Such invariances may be necessary for oﬀ-shell closure of the above
**

algebra, but are irrelevant for obtaining the ﬁeld theory from the classical mechanics.

(In fact, in the component formalism for supergravity, gauge invariance is more easily

proven using a ﬁrst-order formalism with the type of transformations in (5.1.2) rather

than the usual transformations which follow from the second-order formalism [5.2].)

In this case, if we add the transformations

δS δS

δx =

, δ p = −

(5.1.3)

δp δx

to (5.1.2), and choose

= g −1ζ, we obtain the usual general coordinate transforma-

tions (see sect. 4.1)

. . .

δ x =

x , δ p =

p , δ g = (

g) . (5.1.4)

The second-order form is obtained by eliminating p:

L = g −1 12 x2

. . (5.1.5)

**The transformations (5.1.4) for x and g also follow directly from (5.1.2) upon elimi-
**

nating p by its equation of motion. The massive case is obtained by replacing p2 with

p2 + m2 in (5.1.1). When the additional term is carried over to (5.1.5), we get

.

L = 12 g −1 x2 − 12 gm2 . (5.1.6)

**g can now also be eliminated by its equation of motion, producing
**

S = −m dτ −x2 = −m

.

√

−dx2 , (5.1.7)

**which is the length of the world line.
**

Besides the 1D invariance of (5.1.1) under reparametrization of τ , it also has the

discrete invariance of τ reversal. If we choose x(τ ) → x(−τ ) under this reversal,

then p(τ ) → −p(−τ ), and thus this proper-time reversal can be identiﬁed as the

classical mechanical analog of charge (or complex) conjugation in ﬁeld theory [5.3],

where φ(x) → φ*(x) implies φ(p) → φ*(−p) for the fourier transform. (Also, the

.

electromagnetic coupling q dτ x · A(x) when added to (5.1.1) requires the charge

q → −q.)

There are two standard gauges for quantizing (5.1.1). In the light-cone formalism

the gauge is completely ﬁxed (for p+ = 0, up to global transformations, which are

eliminated by boundary conditions) by

x+ = p+ τ . (5.1.8)

5.1. Bosonic 83

**We then eliminate p− as a lagrange multiplier with ﬁeld equation g = 1. The la-
**

grangian then simpliﬁes to

. .

L = x− p+ + xi pi − 12 (pi 2 + m2 ) , (5.1.9)

**with (retarded) propagator
**

1 2 +m2 )

−iΘ(τ )eiτ 2 (pi (5.1.10a)

**(where Θ(τ ) = 1 for τ > 0 and 0 otherwise) or, fourier transforming with respect to
**

τ,

1 1 1

∂ 1 2 2

= 1 2 2

= 1 2 2

. (5.1.10b)

i ∂τ + 2 (pi + m ) + i

p+ p− + 2 (pi + m ) + i

2 (p + m ) + i

For interacting particles, it’s preferable to choose

x+ = τ , (5.1.11)

**so that the same τ coordinate can be used for all particles. Then g = 1/p+ , so
**

the hamiltonian 12 (pi 2 + m2 ) gets replaced with (pi 2 + m2 )/2p+ , which more closely

resembles the nonrelativistic case. If we also use the remaining (global) invariance of

τ reparametrizations (generated by p2 ), we can choose the gauge x+ = 0, which is

the same as choosing the Schrödinger picture.

Alternatively, in the covariant formalism one chooses the gauge

g = constant , (5.1.12)

**where g can’t be completely gauge-ﬁxed because of the invariance of the 1D volume
**

T = dτ g. The functional integral over g is thus replaced by an ordinary integral

over T [5.4], and the propagator is [5.3,5]

∞ 1 2 +m2 ) 1

−i dT Θ(T )eiT 2 (p = 1 2 . (5.1.13)

0 2 (p + m2 ) + i

**The use of the mechanics approach to the particle is somewhat pointless for the
**

free theory, since it contains no information except the constraints (from which it

was derived), and it requires treatment of the irrelevant “oﬀ-shell” behavior in the

“coordinate” τ . However, the proper-time is useful in interacting theories for studying

certain classical limits and various properties of perturbation theory. In particular,

the form of the propagator given in (5.1.13) (with Wick-rotated τ : see sect. 2.5) is

the most convenient for doing loop integrals using dimensional regularization: The

84 5. PARTICLE

**momentum integrations become simple Gaussian integrals, which can be trivially
**

evaluated in arbitrary dimensions by analytic continuation from integer ones:

D/2 D/2

D −ap2 2 −ap2 π

d pe = d pe = . (5.1.14)

a

(The former integral factors into 1-dimensional ones; the latter is easily performed in

polar coordinates.) The Schwinger parameters τ are then converted into the usual

∞ !

Feynman parameters α by inserting unity as 0 dλ δ(λ − τ ), rescaling τ i = λαi ,

and integrating out λ, which now appears in standard Γ-function integrals, to get

the usual Feynman denominators. An identical procedure is applied in string theory,

but writing the parameters as x = e−τ , w = e−λ . (See (9.1.10).) By not converting

the τ ’s into α’s, the high-energy behavior of scattering amplitudes can be analyzed

more easily [5.6]. Also, the singularities in an amplitude correspond to classical paths

of the particles, and this identiﬁcation can be seen to be simply the identiﬁcation

of the τ parameters with the classical proper-time [5.7]. 1-loop calculations can be

performed by introducing external ﬁelds (see also sect. 9.1) and treating the path

of the particle in spacetime as closed [5.5,8]. Such calculations can treat arbitrary

numbers of external lines (or nonperturbative external ﬁelds) for certain external

ﬁeld conﬁgurations (such as constant gauge-ﬁeld strengths). Finally, the introduction

of such expressions for propagators in external ﬁelds allows the study of classical

limits of quantum ﬁeld theories in which some quantum ﬁelds (represented by the

external ﬁeld) become classical ﬁelds, as in the usual classical limit, while other ﬁelds

(represented by the particles described by the mechanics action) become classical

particles [5.9].

This classical mechanics analysis will be applied to the string in chapt. 6.

5.2. BRST

In this section we’ll apply the methods of sect. 3.2-3 to study BRST quantization

of particle mechanics, and ﬁnd results equivalent to those obtained by more general

methods in sect. 3.4.

In the case of particle mechanics (according to sect. 3.1), for the action of the

previous section we have G = −i 12 (p2 + m2 ), and thus [4.4], for the “temporal” gauge

g = 1, from (3.2.6)

Q = −ic 12 (p2 + m2 ) , (5.2.1)

which agrees with the general result (3.4.3b). We could write c = ∂/∂C so that

in the classical ﬁeld theory which follows from the quantum mechanics the ﬁeld

5.2. BRST 85

**φ(x, C) could be real (see sect. 3.4). This also follows from the fact that the (τ -
**

reparametrization) gauge-parameter corresponding to c carries a (proper-)time index

(it’s a 1D vector), and thus changes sign under τ -reversal (mechanics’ equivalent of

ﬁeld theory’s complex conjugation), and so c is a momentum (φ(x, C) = φ*(x, C),

φ(p, c) = φ*(−p, −c)).

We now consider extending IGL(1) to OSp(1,1|2) [3.7]. By (3.3.2),

Qα = −ixα 21 (p2 + m2 ) − b∂ α . (5.2.2)

**In order to compare with sect. 3.4, we make the redeﬁnitions (see (3.6.8))
**

∂

b=i , g = 12 p+ 2 , (5.2.3a)

∂g

(where g is the world-line metric) and the unitary transformation

ln U = −(ln p+ ) 12 [xα , ∂ α ] , (5.2.3b)

ﬁnding

1 2

**UQα U −1 = −ixα p + m2 + pα pα − ix− pα , (5.2.4)
**

2p+

which agrees with the expression given in (3.4.2) for the generators J −α for the case

of the spinless particle, as does the rest of the OSp(1,1|2) obtained from (3.3.7).

In a lagrangian formalism, for the action (5.1.6) with invariance (5.1.4), (3.3.2)

gives the BRST transformation laws

Qα xa = xα xa

. ,

.

Qα g = (xα g) ,

.

Qα xβ = 12 x(α xβ) − C αβ b ,

Qα b = 1

. . .

(x b − bx ) − (x

α α 1 2 α

x + xβ 2 x α ) .

.. (5.2.5)

2 4 β

**We ﬁrst make the redeﬁnition
**

.

b̃ = b − 12 (xα 2 ) (5.2.6)

to simplify the transformation law of xα and thus b:

.

Qα xβ = xα xβ − C αβ b̃ ,

.̃

Qα b̃ = xα b . (5.2.7)

**We then make further redeﬁnitions
**

.

xα → g −1 xα , b̃ → g −1 b − 2(g −1 xα 2 ) , (5.2.8)

86 5. PARTICLE

**which simplify the g transformation, allowing a further simpliﬁcation for b:
**

.

Qα xa = xα g −1 xa = xα pa ,

Qα g = xα

. ,

Qα xβ = −C αβ b ,

Qα b = 0 . (5.2.9)

**To get just a BRST operator (as for the IGL(1) formalism), we can restrict the Sp(2)
**

indices in (5.2.9) to just one value. Then xα for the other value of α (the antighost)

and b can be dropped. (They form an independent IGL(1) multiplet, as described in

sect. 3.2.)

**To get the OSp(1,1|2) formalism, we choose a “Lorentz” gauge. We then quantize
**

with the ISp(2)-invariant gauge-ﬁxing term

. .

L1 = −Qα 2 f (g) = f (g)(gb − xα 2 ) (5.2.10)

**for some arbitrary function f such that f = 0. Canonically quantizing (where f (g)
**

is conjugate to b), and using the equations of motion, we ﬁnd Qα from its Noether

current (which in D = 1 is also the charge) to be given by (5.2.2). For an IGL(1)

formalism, we can use the temporal gauge (writing xα = (c, c̃))

L1 = iQ[c̃f (g)] = bf (g) − if (g)c̃c .

. (5.2.11)

(Compare the discussions of gauge choices in sect. 3.2-3.)

**Although Lorentz-gauge quantization gave a result equivalent to that obtained
**

from the light cone in sect. 3.4, we’ll ﬁnd in sect. 8.3 for the string a result equivalent

to that obtained from the light cone in sect. 3.6.

5.3. Spinning

**The mechanics of a relativistic spin-1/2 particle [5.1] is obtained by symmetrizing
**

the particle action for a spinless particle with respect to one-dimensional (local)

supersymmetry. We thus generalize x(τ ) → X(τ, θ), etc., where θ is a single, real,

anticommuting coordinate. We ﬁrst deﬁne global supersymmetry by the generators

∂ ∂

q= − θi∂ , i∂ ≡ i = −q 2 , (5.3.1a)

∂θ ∂τ

5.3. Spinning 87

**which leave invariant the derivatives
**

∂

d= + θi∂ , ∂ = −id2 . (5.3.1b)

∂θ

The local invariances are then generated by (expanding covariantly)

K = κid + ki∂ , (5.3.2a)

which act covariantly (i.e., as ( ) = eiK ( )e−iK ) on the derivatives

D = Gd + G∂ , −iD 2 . (5.3.2b)

This gives the inﬁnitesimal transformation

δD = i[K, D] = i(KG − iDκ)d + i(KG − iDk)∂ + 2iκG∂ . (5.3.2c)

We next use κ by the last part of this transformation to choose the gauge

G = 0 → κ = i 12 dk . (5.3.3)

**The action (5.1.1) becomes
**

S = dτ dθ G−1 (−iD 2 X) · P − 12 P · DP

= dτ dθ −iG(dX) · (dP ) − 12 P · dP . (5.3.4)

When expanded in components by dθ → d, and deﬁning

X=x , DX = iγ ;

P =ζ , DP = p ;

G = g −1/2 , dG = ig −1 ψ ; (5.3.5)

when evaluated at θ = 0 (in analogy to sect. 3.2), we ﬁnd

S=

dτ

. .

x · p + iψγ · p − iγ · ζ − g 21 p2 + 12 iζ · ζ

. . (5.3.6)

**The (g, x, p) sector works as for the bosonic case. In the (ψ, γ, ζ) sector we see that
**

the quantity i(γ − 12 ζ) is canonically conjugate to ζ, and thus

∂

γ= + 1ζ , (5.3.7a)

∂ζ 2

88 5. PARTICLE

**which has γ-matrix type commutation relations. It anticommutes with
**

∂

γ̂ = γ − ζ = − 12 ζ , (5.3.7b)

∂ζ

which is an independent set of γ-matrices. However, it is γ which appears in the

Dirac equation, obtained by varying ψ.

In a light-cone formalism, we again eliminate all auxiliary “−” components by

their equations of motion, and use the gauge invariance (5.3.2-3) to ﬁx the “+”

components

X + = p+ τ → x+ = p+ τ , γ+ = 0 . (5.3.8)

**We then ﬁnd G = 1, and (5.3.6) reduces to
**

. . . .

L = x− p+ + xi pi − 12 pi 2 − i(γ − − ζ − )ζ + − iγ i ζ i + 12 iζ iζ i

. . (5.3.9)

**In order to obtain the usual spinor ﬁeld, it’s necessary to add a lagrange multiplier
**

term to the action constraining γ̂ = 0. This constraint can either be solved classically

(but only for even spacetime dimension D) by determining half of the ζ’s to be

the canonical conjugates of the other half (consider ζ 1 + iζ 2 vs. ζ 1 − iζ 2 , etc.), or

by imposing it quantum mechanically on the ﬁeld Gupta-Bleuler style. The former

approach sacriﬁces manifest Lorentz invariance in the coordinate approach; however,

if the γ’s are considered simply as operators (without reference to their coordinate

representation), then the ﬁeld is the usual spinor representation, and both can be

represented in the usual matrix notation. This constrained action is equivalent to the

second-order action

S = dτ dθ 12 G−1 (D 2 X) · (DX)

= dτ dθ 12 (GdX)d(GdX) ,

=

. . .

dτ ( 12 g −1x2 + ig −1 ψγ · x − 12 iγ · γ) , (5.3.10a)

or, in ﬁrst-order form for x only,

S=

. .

dτ (x · p − g 21 p2 + 12 iγ · γ + iψγ · p) . (5.3.10b)

**The constraint γ ·p = 0 (the Dirac equation) is just a factorized form of the constraint
**

(2.2.8) for this particular representation of the Lorentz group.

A further constraint is necessary to get an irreducible Poincaré representation in

even D. Since any function of an anticommuting coordinate contains bosonic and

5.3. Spinning 89

**fermionic terms as the coeﬃcients of even and odd powers of that coordinate, we
**

need the constraint γ D = ±1 on the ﬁeld (where γ D means just the product of all the

γ’s) to pick out a ﬁeld of just one statistics (in this case, a Weyl spinor: notice that

D is even in order for the previous constraint to be applied). In the OSp approach

this Weyl chirality condition can also be obtained by an extension of the algebra

[4.10]: OSp(1,1|2)⊗U(1), where the U(1) is chiral transformations, results in an extra

Kronecker δ which is just the usual chirality projector. This U(1) generator (for at

least the special case of a Dirac spinor or Ramond string) can also be derived as a

constraint from ﬁrst-quantization: The classical mechanics action for a Dirac spinor,

under the global transformation δγ a ∼

abc···d γ b γ c · · · γ d , varies by a boundary term

∼ dτ ∂τ

∂

γ D , where as usual γ D ∼

abc···d γ a γ b γ c · · · γ d . By adding a lagrange multiplier

term for γ D ±1, this symmetry becomes a local one, gauged by the lagrange multiplier

(as for the other equations of motion). By 1D supersymmetrization, there is also a

lagrange multiplier for

abc···d pa γ b γ c · · · γ d . The action then describes a Weyl spinor.

**Many supersymmetric gauges are possible for g and ψ. The simplest sets both
**

to constants (“temporal” gauge G = 1), but this gauge doesn’t allow an OSp(1,1|2)

algebra. The next simplest gauge, dG = 0, does the same to ψ but sets the τ

derivative of g to vanish, making it an extra coordinate in the ﬁeld theory (related

.

to x− , or p+ ), giving the generators of (3.4.2). However, the gauge which also keeps

ψ as a coordinate (and as a partner to g) is G = 0. In order to get the maximal

coordinates (or at least zero-modes, for the string) we choose an OSp(1,1|2) which

keeps ψ (related to γ̃ ± , and the corresponding extra ghost, related to γ̃ α ). This gives

the modiﬁed BRST algebra of (3.5.1).

**An “isospinning” particle [5.10] can be described similarly. By dropping the ψ
**

term in (5.3.6,10b) it’s possible to have a diﬀerent symmetry on the indices of (γ, ζ)

than on those of (x, p). In fact, even the range of the indices and the metric can

be diﬀerent. Thus, spin separates from orbital angular momentum and becomes

isospin. There is no longer an anticommuting gauge invariance, but with a positive

deﬁnite metric on the isospinor indices it’s no longer necessary to have one to maintain

unitarity. If we use the constraint γ̂ = 0 we get an isospinor, but if we don’t we get a

matrix, with the γ’s acting on one side and the γ̂’s on the other. Noting that τ reversal

switches γ with −γ̂, we see that the matrix gets transposed. Therefore, the complex

conjugation that is the quantum-mechanical analog of τ reversal is actually hermitian

conjugation, particularly on a ﬁeld which is a matrix representation of some group.

(When γ̂ is constrained to vanish, τ reversal is not an invariance.) By combining

90 5. PARTICLE

**these anticommuting variables with the previous ones we get an isospinning spinning
**

particle.

**At this point we take a slight diversion to discuss properties of spinors in arbitrary
**

dimensions with arbitrary spacetime signature. This will complete our discussion of

spinors in this section, and will be useful in the following section, where representa-

tions of supersymmetry, which is itself described by a spinor generator, will be found

to depend qualitatively on the dimension. The analysis of spinors in Euclidean space

(i.e, the usual spinor representations of SO(D)) can be obtained by the usual group

theoretical methods (see, e.g., [5.11]), using either Dynkin diagrams or an explicit

representation of the γ-matrices. The properties of spinors in SO(D + ,D − ) can then

be obtained by Wick rotation of D − space directions into time ones. (Of particu-

lar interest are the D-dimensional Lorentz group SO(D−1,1) and the D-dimensional

conformal group SO(D,2).) This aﬀects the spinors with respect to only complex

conjugation properties. A useful notation to classify spinors and their properties

is: Denote a fundamental spinor (“spin 1/2”) as ψ α , and its hermitian conjugate

.

as −ψ̄ α . Denote another spinor ψ α such that the contraction ψ α ψ α is invariant un-

.

der the group, and its hermitian conjugate ψ̄ α . The representation of the group on

these various spinors is then related by taking complex conjugates and inverses of

the matrices representing the group on the fundamental one. For SO(D + ,D − ) there

are always some of these representations that are equivalent, since SO(2N) has only

2 inequivalent spinor representations and SO(2N+1) just 1. (In γ-matrix language,

the Dirac spinor can be reduced to 2 inequivalent Weyl spinors by projection with

1

2 (1 ± γ D ) in even dimensions.) In cases where there is another fundamental spinor

representation not included in this set, we also introduce a ψ α and the corresponding

3 other spinors. (However, in that case all 4 in each set will be equivalent, since there

are at most 2 inequivalent altogether.) Many properties of the spinor representations

can be described by classifying the index structure of: (1) the inequivalent spinors,

(2) the bispinor invariant tensors, or “metrics,” which are just the matrices relating

the equivalent spinors in the sets of 4, and (3) the σ-matrices (γ-matrices for D odd,

but in even D the matrices half as big which remain after Weyl projection), which are

simply the Clebsch-Gordan coeﬃcients for relating spinor⊗spinor to vector. In the

latter 2 cases, we also classify the symmetry in the 2 spinor indices, where appropriate.

**.The metrics are of 3 types (along with their complex conjugates and inverses): (1)
**

β

M , which gives charge conjugation for (pseudo)real representations, and is related

α

**to complex conjugation properties of γ-matrices, (2) M . , which is the matrix which
**

αβ

5.3. Spinning 91

**relates the Dirac spinors Ψ and Ψ̄, if it commutes with Weyl projection, and is related
**

to hermitian conjugation properties of γ-matrices, and (3) M αβ , which is the Clebsch-

Gordan coeﬃcients for spinor⊗same-representation spinor to scalar, and is related

to transposition properties of γ-matrices. For all of these it’s important to know

whether the metric is symmetric or antisymmetric; in particular, for the ﬁrst type

we get either real or pseudoreal representations, respectively. In γ-matrix language,

this charge conjugation matrix is straightforwardly constructed in the representation

where the γ-matrices are expressed in terms of direct products of the Pauli matrices

for the 2-dimensional subspaces. Upon Wick rotation of 1 direction each in any

number of pairs corresponding to these 2-dimensional subspaces, the corresponding

Pauli matrix factor in the charge conjugation matrix must be dropped (with perhaps

some change in the choice of Pauli matrix factors for the other subspaces). It then

follows that (pseudo)reality is the same in SO(D + +1,D − +1) as in SO(D + ,D − ), so

all cases follow from the Euclidean case. For the second type of metric, Ψ̄ = Ψ† in

the Euclidean case, so M . is just the identity matrix (i.e., the spinor representations

αβ

are unitary). After Wick rotation, this matrix becomes the product of all the γ-

matrices in the Wick rotated directions, since those γ-matrices got factors of i in the

Wick rotation, and thus need this extra factor to preserve the reality of the tensors

Ψ̄γ · · · γΨ. The symmetry properties of this metric then follow from those of the

γ-matrices. Also, because of the signature of the γ-matrices, it follows that this

metric, except in the Euclidean case, has half its eigenvalues +1 and half −1. The

last type of metric has only undotted indices and thus has nothing to do with complex

conjugation, so its properties are unchanged by Wick rotation. It’s identical to the

ﬁrst type in Euclidean space (since the second type is the identity there; in general,

if 2 of the metrics exist, the third is just their product), which thus determines it in

the general case. Various types of groups are deﬁned by these metrics alone (real,

unitary, orthogonal, symplectic, etc.), with the SO(D + ,D − ) group as a subgroup.

(In fact, these metrics completely determine the SO(D + ,D − ) group, up to abelian

factors, in D ≡ D + + D − ≤ 6, and allow all vector indices to be replaced by pairs

of spinor indices. They also determine the group in D = 8 for D − even, due to

“triality,” the discrete symmetry which permutes the vector representation with the

2 spinors.) We also classify the σ-matrices by their symmetry properties only when its

2 spinor indices are for equivalent representations, so they are unrelated to complex

conjugation (both indices undotted), and thus their symmetry is determined by the

Euclidean case.

92 5. PARTICLE

**We now summarize the results obtained by the methods sketched above for spinors
**

ψ, metrics η (symmetric) and Ω (antisymmetric), and σ-matrices, in terms of D mod

8 and D − mod 4:

D− 0 1 2 3

D Euclidean Lorentz conformal

ψ α ψ α

. ψα ψα . ψ α ψ α

. ψα ψα .

0 η αβ η α β η . η αβ η αβ Ωα β Ω . η αβ

. .

αβ αβ

σ αβ σ σ αβ σ

αβ αβ

ψα

. ψ

. α ψα

. ψ

. α

1 η αβ η α η β

αβ

. η αβ η α ηβ

αβ

. η αβ Ωα Ω β .

αβ

η αβ Ωα β Ω .

αβ

σ (αβ) σ (αβ) σ (αβ) σ (αβ)

. .

α α α

ψα ψ ψα ψ ψα ψ ψα ψα

2 η

αβ

. ηαβ Ω

αβ

. Ωα β

σ (αβ) σ (αβ) σ (αβ) σ (αβ) σ (αβ) σ (αβ) σ (αβ) σ (αβ)

ψα

. ψα

. ψα

. ψα

.

3 Ωαβ Ωα β η

αβ

. Ωαβ η α β Ω

αβ

. Ωαβ η α β Ω .

αβ

Ωαβ Ωα β η .

αβ

σ (αβ) σ (αβ) σ (αβ) σ (αβ)

ψ α ψ α

. ψα ψα . ψ α ψ α

. ψα ψα .

4 Ωαβ Ωα β η . Ωαβ Ωαβ η α β Ω . Ωαβ

. .

αβ αβ

σ αβ σ σ αβ σ

αβ αβ

ψα

. ψ

. α ψα

. ψ

. α

5 Ωαβ Ωα β η

αβ

. Ωαβ Ωα β η

αβ

. Ωαβ η α β Ω .

αβ

Ωαβ η α β Ω .

αβ

σ [αβ] σ [αβ] σ [αβ] σ [αβ]

ψα ψα ψα ψα

. ψα ψα ψα ψα

.

6 η

αβ

. Ωα β Ω

αβ

. ηαβ

[αβ] [αβ]

σ [αβ] σ σ [αβ] σ σ [αβ] σ [αβ] σ [αβ] σ [αβ]

ψα

. ψα

. ψα

. ψα

.

7 η αβ η α β η

αβ

. η αβ Ωα β Ω

αβ

. η αβ Ωα β Ω .

αβ

η αβ η α β η .

αβ

σ [αβ] σ [αβ] σ [αβ] σ [αβ]

**(We have omitted the vector indices on the σ-matrices. We have also omitted metrics
**

which are complex conjugates or inverses of those shown, or are the same but with all

5.3. Spinning 93

**indices primed, where relevant.) Also, not indicated in the table is the fact that η .
**

αβ

is positive deﬁnite for the Euclidean case and half-positive, half-negative otherwise.

Finally, the dimension of the spinors is 2(D−1)/2 for D odd and 2(D−2)/2 (Weyl spinor)

for D even. These N × N metrics deﬁne classical groups as subgroups of GL(N, C):

η αβ → SO(N, C)

Ωαβ → Sp(N, C)

.

η α β → GL(N, R)

.

Ωα β → GL*(N) (≡ U *(N))

. η

αβ

→ U(N) (or U( N2 , N2 ))

Ω . → U( N2 , N2 )

. αβ

η αβ η η .

α

β

→ SO(N) (or SO( N2 , N2 ))

. αβ

η αβ Ω Ω .

α

β

→ SO *(N)

. αβ

Ωαβ η Ω .

α

β

→ Sp(N)

. αβ

Ωαβ Ω η .

α

β

→ USp(N) (or USp( N2 , N2 ))

αβ

**(When the matrix has a trace, the group can be factored into the corresponding
**

“S”-group times an abelian factor U(1) or GL(1, R).)

The σ-matrices satisfy the obvious relation analogous to the γ-matrix anticom-

mutation relations: Contract a pair of spinors on 2 σ-matrices and symmetrize in

the vector indices and you get (twice) the metric for the vector representation (the

SO(D + ,D − ) metric) times a Kronecker δ in the remaining spinor indices:

. .

σ (a αα σ b)β α = σ (a αα σ b)βα = σ (a [αγ] σ b)[βγ] = σ (a (αγ) σ b)(βγ) = 2η ab δ α β , (5.3.11)

**and similarly for expressions with dotted and undotted (or primed and unprimed)
**

indices switched. (We have raised indices with spinor metrics when necessary.)

Although (irreducible) spinors thus have many diﬀerences in diﬀerent dimensions,

there are some properties which are dimension-independent, and it will prove useful

to change notation to emphasize those similarities. We therefore deﬁne spinors which

are real in all dimensions (or would be real after a complex similarity transformation,

and therefore satisfy a generalized Majorana condition). For those kinds of spinors

in the above table which are complex or pseudoreal, this means making a bigger

94 5. PARTICLE

**spinor which contains the real and imaginary components of the previous one as
**

independent components. If the original spinor was complex (D + −D − twice odd), the

new spinor is reducible to an irreducible spinor and its inequivalent complex conjugate

representation, which transform oppositely with respect to an internal U(1) generator

(“γ 5 ”). If the original spinor was pseudoreal (D + − D − = 3, 4, 5 mod 8), the new

spinor reduces to 2 equivalent irreducible spinor representations, which transform as

a doublet with respect to an internal SU(2).

**The net result for these real spinors is that we have the following analog of the
**

above table for those properties which hold for all values of D + :

D− 0 1 2 3

Euclidean Lorentz conformal

ψ α ψ α ψα ψα ψ α ψ α ψα ψα

η αβ Ωαβ

γ αβ γ (αβ) γ (αβ) γ αβ γ [αβ] γ [αβ]

**These γ-matrices satisfy the same relations as the σ-matrices in (5.3.11). (In fact, they
**

are identical for D + = D − mod 8.) Their additional, D + -dependent properties can

be described by additional metrics: (1) the internal symmetry generators mentioned

above; and (2) for D odd, a metric M αβ or M αβ which relates the 2 types of spinors

(since there are 2 independent irreducible spinor representations only for D even).

**Similar methods of ﬁrst-quantization will be applied in sect. 7.2 to the spinning
**

string, which has spin-0 and spin-1/2 ground states. Classical mechanics actions for

particles with other spins (or strings with ground states with other spins), i.e., gauge

ﬁelds, are not known. (For the superstring, however, a nonmanifestly supersymmetric

formalism can be obtained by a truncation of the spinning string, eliminating some

of the ground states.) On the other hand, the BRST approach of chap. 3 allows

the treatment of the quantum mechanics of arbitrary gauge ﬁelds. Furthermore, the

superparticle, described in the following section, is described classical-mechanically

by a spin-0 or spin-1/2 superﬁeld, which includes component gauge ﬁelds, just as the

string has component gauge ﬁelds in its excited modes.

5.4. Supersymmetric 95

5.4. Supersymmetric

**The superparticle is obtained from the spinless particle by symmetrizing with
**

respect to the supersymmetry of the higher-dimensional space in which the one-

dimensional world line of the particle is imbedded. (For reviews of supersymmetry,

see [1.17].) As for the spinless particle, a full understanding of this action consists of

just understanding the algebras of the covariant derivatives and equations of motion.

In order to describe arbitrary D, we work with the general real spinors of the pre-

vious section. The covariant derivatives are pa (momentum) and dα (anticommuting

spinor), with

{dα , dβ } = 2γ a αβ pa (5.4.1)

**(the other graded commutators vanish), where the γ matrices are symmetric in their
**

spinor indices and satisfy

γ (a αγ γ b)βγ = 2η ab δ α β , (5.4.2)

**as described in the previous section. This algebra is represented in terms of coordi-
**

nates xa (spacetime) and θα (anticommuting), and their partial derivatives ∂ a and

∂ α , as

pa = i∂ a , dα = ∂ α + iγ a αβ θβ ∂ a . (5.4.3)

**These covariant derivatives are invariant under supersymmetry transformations gen-
**

erated by pa and q α , which form the algebra

{q α , q β } = −2γ a αβ pa . (5.4.4)

pa is given above, and q α is represented in terms of the same coordinates as

q α = ∂ α − iγ a αβ θβ ∂ a . (5.4.5)

**(See (5.3.1) for D = 1.) All these objects also transform covariantly under Lorentz
**

transformations generated by

J ab = −ix[a pb] + 14 θα γ [aαγ γ b] γβ ∂ β + M ab , (5.4.6)

**where we have included the (coordinate-independent) spin term M ab . (In comparison
**

with (2.2.4), the spin operator here gives just the spin of the superﬁeld, which is

a function of x and θ, whereas the spin operator there includes the θ∂ term, and

thus gives the spin of the component ﬁelds resulting as the coeﬃcients of a Taylor

expansion of the superﬁeld in powers of θ.)

96 5. PARTICLE

**As described in the previous section, even for “simple” supersymmetry (the small-
**

est supersymmetry for that dimension), these spinors are reducible if the irreducible

spinor representation isn’t real, and reduce to the direct sum of an irreducible spinor

and its complex conjugate. However, we can further generalize by letting the spinor

represent more than one of such real spinors (and some of each of the 2 types that

are independent when D is twice odd), and still use the same notation, with a single

index representing all spinor components. (5.4.1-6) are then unchanged (except for

the range of the spinor index). However, the nature of the supersymmetry repre-

sentations will depend on D, and on the number of minimal supersymmetries. In

the remainder of this section we’ll stick to this notation to manifest those properties

which are independent of dimension, and include such things as internal-symmetry

generators when required for dimension-dependent properties.

**For a massless, real, scalar ﬁeld, p2 = 0 is the only equation of motion, but for a
**

massless, real, scalar superﬁeld, the additional equation p/d = 0 (where d is the spinor

derivative) is necessary to impose that the superﬁeld is a unitary representation of

(on-shell) supersymmetry [5.12]: Since the hermitian supersymmetry generators q

pq, p/q} ∼ p2 p/ = 0, but on unitary representations

satisfy {q, q} ∼ p, we have that {/

any hermitian operator whose square vanishes must also vanish, so 0 = p/q = p/d up to

a term proportional to p2 = 0. This means that only half the q’s are nonvanishing. We

can further divide these remaining q’s in (complex) halves as creation and annihilation

operators. A massless, irreducible representation of supersymmetry is then speciﬁed

in this nonmanifestly Lorentz covariant approach by ﬁxing the “Cliﬀord” vacuum of

these creation and annihilation operators to be an irreducible representation of the

Poincaré group.

**Unfortunately, the p2 and p/d equations are not suﬃcient to determine an irre-
**

ducible representation of supersymmetry, even for a scalar superﬁeld (with certain

exceptions in D ≤ 4) since, although they kill the unphysical half of the q’s, they

don’t restrict the Cliﬀord vacuum. The latter restriction requires extra constraints

in a manifestly Lorentz covariant formalism. There are several ways to ﬁnd these

additional constraints: One is to consider coupling to external ﬁelds. The simplest

case is external super-Yang-Mills (which will be particularly relevant for strings). The

generalization of the covariant derivatives is

dα → ∇α = dα + Γα ,

pa → ∇a = pa + Γa . (5.4.7)

5.4. Supersymmetric 97

**We thus have a graded covariant derivative ∇A , A = (a, α). Without loss of generality,
**

we consider cases where the only physical ﬁelds in the super-Yang-Mills multiplet are

a vector and a spinor. The other cases (containing scalars) can be obtained easily by

dimensional reduction. Then the commutation relations of the covariant derivatives

become [5.13]

{∇α , ∇β } = 2γ a αβ ∇a ,

[∇α , ∇a ] = 2γ aαβ W β ,

[∇a , ∇b ] = F ab , (5.4.8)

where W α is the super-Yang-Mills ﬁeld strength (at θ = 0, the physical spinor ﬁeld),

and consistency of the Jacobi (Bianchi) identities requires

γ a(αβ γ a γ)δ = 0 . (5.4.9)

This condition (when maximal Lorentz invariance is assumed, i.e., SO(D-1,1) for a

taking D values) implies spacetime dimensions D = 3, 4, 6, 10 , and “antispacetime”

dimensions (the number of values of the index α) D = 2(D − 2). (The latter identity

follows from multiplying (5.4.9) by γ bαβ and using (5.4.2).) The generalization of the

equations of motion is [5.14]

p/d → γ aαβ ∇a ∇β ,

1 2

2p → 12 ∇a ∇a + W α ∇α , (5.4.10)

but closure of this algebra also requires new equations of motion which are certain

Lorentz pieces of ∇[α ∇β] . Speciﬁcally, in D = 3 there is only one Lorentz piece (a

scalar), and it gives the usual ﬁeld equations for a scalar multiplet [5.15]; in D = 4 the

scalar piece again gives the usual equations for a chiral scalar multiplet, but the (axial)

vector piece gives the chirality condition (after appropriate normal ordering); in D = 6

only the self-dual third-rank antisymmetric tensor piece appears in the algebra, and

it gives equations satisﬁed by scalar multiplets (but not by tensor multiplets, which

are also described by scalar superﬁeld strengths, but can’t couple minimally to Yang-

Mills) [5.16]; but in D = 10 no multiplet is described because the only one possible

would be Yang-Mills itself, but its ﬁeld strength W α carries a Lorentz index, and the

equations described above (which apply only to scalars) need extra terms containing

Lorentz generators.

Another way to derive the modiﬁcations is to use superconformal transformations.

The superconformal groups [5.17] are actually easier to derive than the supersymme-

try groups because they are just graded versions of classical groups. Speciﬁcally, the

98 5. PARTICLE

**classical supergroups (see [5.18] for a review) have deﬁning representations deﬁned in
**

terms of a metric M

AB

. , which makes them unitary (or pseudounitary, if the metric

.

isn’t positive deﬁnite), and sometimes also a graded-symmetric metric M AB , and thus

M A B by combining them (and their inverses). The generators which have bosonic-

bosonic or fermionic-fermionic indices are bosonic, and those with bosonic-fermionic

are fermionic. (The choice of which parts of the A index are bosonic and which are

fermionic can be reversed, but this doesn’t aﬀect the statistics of the group genera-

tors.) Since the bosonic subgroup of the supergroups with just the M . metric is

AB

the direct product of 2 unitary groups, those supergroups are called (S)SU(M|N) for

M values of the index of one statistics and N of the other, where the S is because a

(graded) trace condition is imposed, and there is a second S for M=N because then

a second trace can be removed (so each of the 2 unitary subgroups becomes SU(N)).

The supergroups which also have the graded-symmetric metric M AB have a bosonic

subgroup which is orthogonal in the sector where the metric is symmetric and sym-

.

plectic in the sector where it is antisymmetric. In this case we choose the metric M .

AB

also to have graded symmetry, in such a way that the metric M A B obtained from

their product is totally symmetric, so the deﬁning representation is real, or totally

antisymmetric, so the representation is pseudoreal. The former is generally called

OSp(M|2N), and we call the latter OSp*(M|2N).

We next assume that the anticommuting generators of these supergroups are

to be identiﬁed with the conformal generalization of the supersymmetry generators.

Thus, one index is to be identiﬁed with an internal symmetry, and the other with a

conformal spinor index. The conformal spinor reduces to 2 Lorentz spinors, one of

which is the usual supersymmetry, the “square root” of translations, and the other

of which is “S-supersymmetry,” the square root of conformal boosts. The choice of

supergroup then follows immediately from the graded generalization of the conformal

spinor metrics appearing in the table of the previous section [5.19]:

**D mod 8 superconformal bosonic subgroup dim-0/dilatations
**

0,4 (S)SU(N|ν,ν) SU(ν,ν)⊗SU(N)(⊗U(1)) SL(ν,C)⊗(S)U(N)

1,3 OSp(N|2ν) Sp(2ν)⊗SO(N) SL(ν,R)⊗SO(N)

2 OSp(N|2ν) ” ”

or (”)+ ⊗(”)− (”)+ ⊗(”)− (”)+ ⊗(”)−

5,7 OSp*(2ν|2N) SO*(2ν)⊗USp(2N) SL*(ν)⊗USp(2N)

6 OSp*(2ν|2N) ” ”

or (”)+ ⊗(”)− (”)+ ⊗(”)− (”)+ ⊗(”)−

5.4. Supersymmetric 99

**where “dim-0” are the generators which commute with dilatations (see sect. 2.2), so
**

the last column gives Lorentz⊗internal symmetry (at least). ν is the dimension of

the (irreducible) Lorentz spinor (1/2 that of the conformal spinor), N is the number

of minimal supersymmetries, and D(>2) is the dimension of (Minkowski) spacetime

(with conformal group SO(D,2), so 2 less than the D in the previous table). The 2

choices for twice-odd D depend on whether we choose to represent the superconformal

group on both primed and unprimed spinors. If so, there can be a separate N and

N . Again, we have used * to indicate groups which are Wick rotations such that

the deﬁning representation is pseudoreal instead of real. (SL* is sometimes denoted

SU*.)

Unfortunately, as discussed in the previous section, the bosonic subgroup acting

on the conformal spinor part of the deﬁning representation, as deﬁned by the spinor

metrics (plus the trace condition, when relevant) gives a group bigger than the con-

formal group unless D ≤ 6. However, we can still use D ≤ 6, and perhaps some of the

qualitative features of D > 6, for our analysis of massless ﬁeld equations. We then

generalize our analysis of sect. 2.2 from conformal to superconformal. It’s suﬃcient

to apply just the S-supersymmetry generators to just the Klein-Gordon operator. We

then ﬁnd [2.6,5.19]:

1 b

1 2

{p

2 , J ab } + 12 {pa , ∆} = pb M ab + pa d − D−2

2

2p → p/q = p/d → , (5.4.11)

q [α q β] + · · · = d[α dβ] + · · ·

where the last expression means certain Lorentz pieces of dd plus certain terms con-

1 αβ

taining Lorentz and internal symmetry generators. In particular, 16 γ abc dα dβ +

1

2 p[a M bc] is the supersymmetric analog of the Pauli-Lubansky vector [5.20]. The vec-

tor equation is (2.2.8) again, derived in essentially the same way.

For the constraints we therefore choose [5.21]

A = 12 p2 ,

Bα = γ aαβ pa dβ ,

1

C abc = αβ

16 γ abc dα dβ + 12 p[a M bc] ,

D a = M a b pb + kpa ; (5.4.12a)

or, in matrix notation,

A = 12 p2 ,

B = p/d ,

100 5. PARTICLE

1

C abc = 16 dγ abc d + 12 p[a M bc] ,

D a = M a b pb + kpa ; (5.4.12b)

**where out of (5.4.11) we have chosen A and D as for nonsupersymmetric theories
**

(sect. 2.2), B for unitarity (as explained above), and just the Pauli-Lubansky part

of the rest (which is all of it for D=10), the signiﬁcance of which will be explained

below.

These constraints satisfy the algebra

{B, B} = 4/

pA ,

[D a , D b ] = −2M ab A − p[a D b] ,

[C abc , B] = −8γ abc dA ,

[C abc , D d ] = η d[a pb D c] ,

**[C abc , C def ] = − 14 [δ [d [a pe C bc] f ] − (abc ↔ def )] − 1
**

128 d(4γ

abc

def − 2δ [d [a δ e b γ c] f ] )B ,

rest = 0 , (5.4.13)

with some ambiguity in how the right-hand side is expressed due to the relations

p · D = 2kA ,

p/B = 2dA ,

dB = 2(tr I)A ,

1 1

6 p[a C bcd] = − 16 dγ abcd B ,

1

pc C cab = 2M ab A + p[a D b] + 16 dγ ab B . (5.4.14)

(γ ab = 12 γ [a γ b] , etc.)

**In the case of supersymmetry with an internal symmetry group (extended su-
**

persymmetry, or even simple supersymmetry in D=5,6,7), there is an additional con-

straint analogous to C abc for superisospin:

C a,int = 18 dγ a σ int d + pa M int . (5.4.15)

**σ int are the matrix generators of the internal symmetry group, in the representation
**

to which d belongs, and M int are those which act on the external indices of the

superﬁeld.

5.4. Supersymmetric 101

**Unfortunately, there are few superspin-0 multiplets that are contained within
**

spin-0, isospin-0 superﬁelds (i.e., that themselves contain spin-0, isospin-0 compo-

nent ﬁelds). In fact, the only such multiplets of physical interest in D>4 are N=1

Yang-Mills in D=9 and N=2 nonchiral supergravity in D=10. (For a convenient listing

of multiplets, see [5.22].) However, by the method described in the previous section,

spinor representations for the Lorentz group can be introduced. By including “γ-

matrices” for internal symmetry, we can also introduce deﬁning representations for the

internal symmetry groups for which they are equivalent to the spinor representations

of orthogonal groups (i.e., SU(2)=USp(2)=SO(3), USp(4)=SO(5), SU(4)=SO(6),

SO(4)-vector=SO(3)-spinor⊗SO(3) -spinor, SO(8)-vector=SO(8) -spinor). Further-

more, arbitrary U(1) representations can be described by adding extra terms without

introducing additional coordinates. This allows the description of most superspin-

0 multiplets, but with some notable exceptions (e.g., 11D supergravity). However,

these equations are not easily generalized to nonzero superspins, since, although the

superspin operator is easy to identify in the light-cone formalism (see below), the cor-

responding operator would be nonlocal in a covariant description (or appear always

with an additional factor of momentum).

We next consider the construction of mechanics actions. These equations describe

only multiplets of superspin 0, i.e., the smallest representations of a given supersym-

metry algebra, for reasons to be described below. (This is no restriction in D=3,

where superspin doesn’t exist, and in D=4 arbitrary superspin can be treated by a

minor modiﬁcation, since there superspin is abelian.) As described in the previous

section, only spin-0 and spin-1/2 superﬁelds can be described by classical mechanics,

and we begin with spin-0, dropping spin terms in (5.4.12), and the generator D. The

action is then given by (3.1.10), where [5.23]

z M = (xm , θµ ) , π A = (pa , idα ) ,

. . . .

z M eM A (z) = (x − iθγθ, θ) ,

iG i (π) = (A, Bα , C abc ) . (5.4.16)

Upon quantization, the covariant derivatives become

π A = ieA M ∂ M = i(∂ a , ∂ α + iγ a αβ θβ ∂ a ) , (5.4.17)

which are invariant under the supersymmetry transformations

δx = ξ − i

γθ , δθ =

. (5.4.18)

102 5. PARTICLE

**The transformation laws then follow directly from (3.1.11), with the aid of (5.4.13)
**

for the λ transformations.

The classical mechanics action can be quantized covariantly by BRST methods.

In particular, the transformations generated by B [5.24] (with parameter κ) close on

those generated by A (with parameter ξ):

δx = ξp + iκ(γd + p/γθ) , δθ = p/κ ,

δp = 0 , δd = 2p2 κ ,

.

δg = ξ + 4iκ/

pψ ,

.

δψ = κ . (5.4.19)

Because of the second line of (5.4.14), the ghosts have a gauge invariance similar to

the original κ invariance, and then the ghosts of those ghosts again have such an

invariance, etc., ad inﬁnitum. This is a consequence of the fact that only half of θ

can be gauged away, but there is generally no Lorentz representation with half the

components of a spinor, so the spinor gauge parameter must itself be half gauge, etc.

Although somewhat awkward, the inﬁnite set of ghosts is straightforward to ﬁnd.

Furthermore, if derived from the light cone, the OSp(1,1|2) generators automatically

contain this inﬁnite number of spinors: There, θ is ﬁrst-quantized in the same way as

the Dirac spinor was second-quantized in sect. 3.5, and θ obtains an inﬁnite number

of components (as an inﬁnite number of ordinary spinors) as a result of being a

representation of a graded Cliﬀord algebra (speciﬁcally, the Heisenberg algebras of

γ α and γ̃ α ). This analysis will be made in the next section.

On the other hand, the analysis of the constraints is simplest in the light-cone

formalism. The A, B, and D equations can be solved directly, because they are all of

the form p · f = p+ f − + · · · :

1 2

A=0 → p− = − pi ,

2p+

1

B=0 → γ −d = − γ i pi γ − γ + d ,

2p+

1

D=0 → M −i = (M i j pj + kpi ) , M −+ = k , (5.4.20a)

p+

where we have chosen the corresponding gauges

x+ = 0 ,

γ +θ = 0 ,

M +i = 0 . (5.4.20b)

5.4. Supersymmetric 103

**These solutions restrict the x’s, θ’s, and Lorentz indices, respectively, to those of the
**

light cone. (Eﬀectively, D is reduced by 2, except that p+ remains.)

**However, a superﬁeld which is a function of a light-cone θ is not an irreducible
**

representation of supersymmetry (except sometimes in D≤4), although it is a unitary

one. In fact, C is just the superspin operator which separates the representations: Due

to the other constraints, all its components are linearly related to

1

C +ij = p+ M ij + 16 dγ + γ ij d . (5.4.21)

**Up to a factor of p+ , this is the light-cone superspin: On an irreducible representation
**

of supersymmetry, it acts as an irreducible representation of SO(D-2). In D=4 this

can be seen easily by noting that the irreducible representations can be represented

in terms of chiral superﬁelds (d¯ = 0) with diﬀerent numbers of d’s acting on them,

and the dd¯ in C just counts the numbers of d’s. In general, if we note that the full

light-cone Lorentz generator can be written as

∂

J ij = −ix[i pj] + 12 θγ ij + M ij

∂θ

1 1

= −ix[i pj] − qγ + γ ij q + dγ + γ ij d + M ij

16p+ 16p+

1

= Jˆij + C +ij , (5.4.22)

p+

**then, by expressing any state in terms of q’s acting on the Cliﬀord vacuum, we see that
**

Jˆ gives the correct transformation for those q’s and the x-dependence of the Cliﬀord

vacuum, so C/p+ gives the spin of the Cliﬀord vacuum less the contribution of the

qq term on it, i.e., the superspin. Unfortunately, the mechanics action can’t handle

spin operators for irreducible representations (either for M ij or the superspin), so we

must restrict ourselves not only to spin 0 (referring to the external indices on the

superﬁeld), but also superspin 0 (at least at the classical mechanics level). Thus, the

remaining constraint C = 0 is the only possible (ﬁrst-class) constraint which can make

the supersymmetry representation irreducible. The constraints (5.4.12) are therefore

necessary and suﬃcient for deriving the mechanics action. However, if we allow the

trivial kind of second-class constraints that can be solved in terms of matrices, we can

generalize to spin-1/2. In principle, we could also do superspin-1/2, but this leads to

covariant ﬁelds which are just those for superspin-0 with an extra spinor index tagged

on, which diﬀers by factors of momentum (with appropriate index contractions) from

the desired expressions. (Thus, the superspin operator would be nonlocal on the

104 5. PARTICLE

**latter.) Isospin-1/2 can be treated similarly (and superisospin-1/2, but again as a
**

tagged-on index).

**The simplest nontrivial example is D=4. (In D=3, C +ij vanishes, since the trans-
**

verse index i takes only one value.) There light-cone spinors have only 1 (complex)

component, and so does C +ij . For this case, we can (and must, for an odd number N

of supersymmetries) modify C abc :

1

C abc = 16 dγ abc d + 12 p[a M bc] + iH

abcd pd , (5.4.23)

**where H is the “superhelicity.” We then ﬁnd
**

1

C +ij = p+

ij M + iH − i [da , d¯a ] , (5.4.24)

4p+

where M ij =

ij M and {da , d¯b } = p+ δ a b , and a is an SU(N) index. The “helicity”

h is given by M = −ih, and we then ﬁnd by expanding the ﬁeld over chiral ﬁelds φ

¯ = 0)

[5.25-27] (dφ

ψ ∼ (d)n φ → H = h + 14 (2n − N) . (5.4.25)

**Specifying both the spin and superhelicity of the original superﬁeld ﬁxes both h and
**

H, and thus determines n. Note that this requires H to be quarter-(odd-)integral for

odd N. In general, the SU(N) representation of φ also needs to be speciﬁed, and the

relevant part of (5.4.15) is

1

C +a = p+ M a

b b

−i [da , d¯b ] − 14 δ a b [dc , d¯c ] , (5.4.26)

4p+

**and the vanishing of this quantity forces φ to be an SU(N)-singlet. (More general
**

cases can be obtained simply by tacking extra indices onto the original superﬁeld,

and thus onto φ.)

**We next consider 10D super Yang-Mills. The appropriate superﬁeld is a Weyl
**

or Majorana spinor, so we include terms as in the previous section in the mechanics

action. To solve the remaining constraint, we ﬁrst decompose SO(9,1) covariant

spinors and γ-matrices to SO(8) light-cone ones as

1/4

d+

dα = 2 ,

d−

√ √

2p+ p/T Σ 0 Σ 0 2p− p/T

p/αβ = √ , p/ αβ

= √ ,

p/T † − 2p− 0 Σ 0 Σ p/T † − 2p+

5.4. Supersymmetric 105

a/T b/T † + b/T a/T † = a/T † b/T + b/T † a/T = 2aT · bT ,

p/T * = Σ/

pT Σ , Σ = Σ† = Σ* , Σ2 = I . (5.4.27)

**(We could choose the Majorana representation Σ = I, but other representations can
**

be more convenient.) The independent supersymmetry-covariant derivatives are then

∂

d+ = +

+ p+ Σθ+ , pT , p+ . (5.4.28)

∂θ

In order to introduce chiral light-cone superﬁelds, we further reduce SO(8) to

SO(6)⊗SO(2)=U(4) notation:

√ da pab δ a b pL 0 I

d+ = 2 ¯a , p/T = , Σ=

d δ b a p̄L p̄ab I 0

(p̄ab = 12

abcd pcd ) . (5.4.29)

**In terms of this “euphoric” notation, the constraints C +ij are written on the SO(6)-
**

spinor superﬁeld as

1 ψc δ c b ψ a − 14 δ a b ψ c 1

ψc

C +a b = i 12 −i ¯ 1 ¯

[da , d ] − 4 δ a [dd , d ]

b b d

,

p+ ψ̄ c −δ a c ψ̄ b + 14 δ a b ψ̄ c 4p+ ψ̄ c

1 ψc 1 −ψ c ψc

C+ c

= c

i 12

−i [da , d¯a ] ,

p+ ψ̄ ψ̄ 4p+ ψ̄ c

1 ψc 1

abcd ψ̄ d 1 ψc

C +ab = i2 −i da db , (5.4.30)

p+ ψ̄ c 0 2p+ ψ̄ c

and the complex conjugate equation for C + ab . (Note that it is crucial that the original

SO(10) superﬁeld ψ α was a spinor of chirality opposite to that of dα in order to obtain

soluble equations.) The solution to the ﬁrst 2 equations gives ψ in terms of a chiral

superﬁeld φ,

ψ a = da φ , (5.4.31a)

and that to the third equation imposes the self-duality condition [5.25-27]

1 abcd

24

da db dc dd φ = p+ 2 φ̄ . (5.4.31b)

**This can also be written as
**

"

−1/2 aπ

1

2 p+ d φ = φ̄ → dθ eθ a p+ /2

φ(θa ) = [φ(π̄ a )] * . (5.4.32)

**This corresponds to the fact that in the mechanics action τ reversal on θα includes
**

multiplication by the charge conjugation matrix, which switches θa with θ̄a , which

equals −(2/p+ )∂/∂θa by the chirality condition d¯a = 0.

106 5. PARTICLE

**These results are equivalent to those obtained from ﬁrst-quantization of a me-
**

chanics action with dα = 0 as a second-class constraint [5.28]. (This is the analog of

the constraint γ̂ = 0 of the previous section.) This is eﬀectively the same as drop-

ping the d terms from the action, which can then be written in second-order form by

eliminating p by its equation of motion. This can be solved either by using a chiral

superﬁeld [5.27] as a solution to this constraint in a Gupta-Bleuler formalism,

d¯a φ = 0 → da φ̄ = 0 → φ̄d+ φ = 0 , (5.4.33)

**or by using a superﬁeld with a real 4-component θ [5.26] as a solution to this con-
**

straint before quantization (but after going to a light-cone gauge), determining half

the remaining components of γ − θ to be the canonical conjugates of the other half.

However, whereas either of these methods with second-class constraints requires the

breaking of manifest Lorentz covariance just for the formulation of the (ﬁeld) theory,

the method we have described above has constraints on the ﬁelds which are mani-

festly Lorentz covariant ((5.4.12)). Furthermore, this second-class approach requires

that (5.4.32) be imposed in addition, whereas in the ﬁrst-class approach it and the

chirality condition automatically followed together from (5.4.21) (and the ordinary

reality of the original SO(9,1) spinor superﬁeld).

On the other hand, the formalism with second-class constraints can be derived

from the ﬁrst-class formalism without M ab terms (and thus without D in (5.4.12))

[5.29]: Just as A and B were solved at the classical level to obtain (5.4.20), C = 0 can

also be solved classically. To be speciﬁc, we again consider D = 10. Then C +ij = 0

is equivalent to d[µ dν] = 0 (where µ is an 8-valued light-cone spinor index). (They

are just diﬀerent linear combinations of the same 28 antisymmetric quadratics in

d, which are the only nonvanishing d products classically.) This constraint implies

the components of d are all proportional to the same anticommuting scalar, times

diﬀerent commuting factors:

dµ dν = 0 → dµ = cζ µ , (5.4.34a)

**where c is anticommuting and ζ commuting. Furthermore, C +ij are just SO(8) gen-
**

erators on d, and thus their gauge transformation can be used to rotate it in any

direction, thus eliminating all but 1 component [5.30]. (This is clear from triality,

since the spinor 8 representation is like the vector 8.) Speciﬁcally, we choose the

gauge parameters of the C transformations to depend on ζ in such a way as to rotate

ζ in any one direction, and then redeﬁne c to absorb the remaining ζ factor:

C gauge : dµ = δ m 1 c . (5.4.34b)

5.4. Supersymmetric 107

**In this gauge, the C constraint itself is trivial, since it is antisymmetric in d’s. Finally,
**

we quantize this one remaining component c of d to ﬁnd

√

quantization : c2 = p+ → c = ± p+ . (5.4.34c)

**c has been determined only up to a sign, but there is a residual C gauge invariance,
**

since the C rotation can also be used to rotate ζ in the opposite direction, changing its

sign. After using the gauge invariance to make all but one component of ζ vanish, this

sign change is the only part of the gauge transformation which survives. It can then

be used to choose the sign in (5.4.34c). Thus, all the d’s are determined (although 1

component is nonvanishing), and we obtain the same set of coordinates (x and q, no

d) as in the second-class formalism. The C constraint can also be solved completely

at the quantum mechanical level by Gupta-Bleuler methods [5.29]. The SO(D-2)

generators represented by C are then divided up into the Cartan subalgebra, raising

operators, and lowering operators. The raising operators are imposed as constraints

(on the ket, and the lowering operators on the bra), implying only the highest-weight

state survives, and the generators of the Cartan subalgebra are imposed only up to

“normal-ordering” constants, which are just the weights of that state.

The components of this chiral superﬁeld can be identiﬁed with the usual vector

+ spinor [5.26,27]:

φ(x, θa ) =

(p+ )−1 AL (x) + θa (p+ )−1 χa (x) + θ2ab Aab (x) + θ3 a χ̄a (x) + θ4 (p+ )ĀL (x) , (5.4.35)

and the θ = 0 components of γ + ψ = (ψ a , ψ̄ a ) can be identiﬁed with the spinor. Alter-

natively, the vector + spinor content can be obtained directly from the vanishing of

C +ij of (5.4.21), without using euphoric notation: We ﬁrst note that the Γ-matrices of

M ij are represented by 2 spinors, corresponding to the 2 diﬀerent chiralities of spinors

in SO(8). SO(8) has the property of “triality,” which is the permutation symmetry

of these 2 spinors with the vector representation. (All are 8-component representa-

tions.) Since the anticommutation relations of d are just a triality transformation of

those of the Γ’s (modulo p+ ’s), they are represented by the other 2 representations:

a spinor of the other chirality and a vector. The same holds for the representation

of q. Thus, the direct product of the representations of Γ and d includes a singlet

(superspin 0), picked out by C +ij = 0, so the total SO(8) representation (generated

by J ij of (5.4.22)) is just that of q, a spinor (of opposite chirality) and a vector.

There is another on-shell method of analysis of (super)conformal theories that is

manifestly covariant and makes essential use of spinors. This method expresses the

108 5. PARTICLE

**ﬁelds in terms of the “spinor” representation of the superconformal group. (The ordi-
**

nary conformal group is the case N=0.) The spinor is deﬁned in terms of generalized

γ-matrices (“twistors” [5.31] or “supertwistors” [5.32]):

{γ̄ A , γ B ] = δ A B , (5.4.36)

**where the index has been lowered by M
**

AB

. , and the grading is such that the conformal

spinor part has been chosen commuting and the internal part anticommuting, just as

ordinary γ-matrices have bosonic (vector) indices but are anticommuting. The anti-

commuting γ’s are then closely analogous to the light-cone supersymmetry generators

γ − q. The generators are then represented as

GA B ∼ γ A γ̄ B , (5.4.37)

**with graded (anti)symmetrization or traces subtracted, as appropriate. The case
**

of OSp(1,1|2) has been treated in (3.5.1). A representation in terms of the usual

superspace coordinates can then be generated by coset-space methods, as described in

sect. 2.2. We begin by identifying the subgroup of the supergroup which corresponds

to supersymmetry (by picking 1 of the 2 Lorentz spinors in the conformal spinor

generator) and translations (by closure of supersymmetry). We then equate their

ˆ of sect. 2.2) with their representation

representation in (5.4.37) (analogous to the J’s

in (5.4.3,5) (analogous to the J’s of sect. 2.2). (The constant γ-matrices of (5.4.3,5)

should not be confused with the operators of (5.4.36).) This results in an expression

analogous to (2.2.6), where Φ(0) is a function of half of (linear combinations of)

the γ’s of (5.4.36) (the other half being their canonical conjugates). (For example,

the bosonic part of γ A is a conformal spinor which is expressed as a Lorentz spinor

ζ α and its canonical conjugate. (5.4.37) then gives pa = γ a αβ ζ α ζ β , which implies

p2 = 0 in D = 3, 4, 6, 10 due to (5.4.9).) We then integrate over these γ’s to obtain

a function of just the usual superspace coordinates x and θ. Due to the quadratic

form of the momentum generator in terms of the γ’s, it describes only positive energy.

Negative energies, for antiparticles, can be introduced by adding to the ﬁeld a term

for the complex conjugate representation. At least in D=3,4,6,10 this superﬁeld

satisﬁes p2 = 0 as a consequence of the explicit form of the generators (5.4.37), and

as a consequence all the equations which follow from superconformal transformations.

These equations form a superconformal tensor which can be written covariantly as an

expression quadratic in GA B . In D=4 an additional U(1) acting on the twistor space

can be identiﬁed as the (little group) helicity, and in D=6 a similar SU(2)(⊗SU(2) if

5.4. Supersymmetric 109

**the primed supergroup is also introduced) appears. ((5.4.34a) is also a supertwistor
**

type of relation.)

The cases D=3,4,6,10 [5.33] are especially interesting not only for the above

reason and (5.4.9) but also because their various spacetime groups form an interesting

pattern if we consider these groups to be the same for these diﬀerent dimensions

except that they are over diﬀerent generalized number systems A called “division

algebras.” These are generalizations of complex numbers which can be written as

!n

z = z0 + 1 z i ei , {ei , ej } = −2δ ij , where n=0,1,3, or 7. Choosing for the diﬀerent

dimensions the division algebras

D A

3 real

4 complex

6 quaternion

10 octonion

**we have the correspondence
**

SL1 (1, A) = SO(D − 2)

SU(2, A) = SO(D − 1)

SU(1, 1, A) = SO(D − 2, 1)

/SO(D − 3)

SL(2, A) = SO(D − 1, 1)

SU (4, A) = SO(D, 2)

SU(N|4, A) = superconf ormal

where SL1 means only the real part (z 0 ) of the trace of the deﬁning representation

vanishes, by SU we mean traceless and having the metric Ω . (vs. η . for SU),

. = (η ., Ω .) (in that order). The . refers

αβ αβ

and the graded SU has metric M

AB ab αβ

to generalized conjugation ei → −ei (and the ei are invariant under transposition,

although their ordering inside the matrices changes). The “/SO(D − 3)” refers to

the fact that to get the desired groups we must include rotations of the D − 3 ei ’s

among themselves. The only possible exception is for the D = 10 superconformal

groups, which don’t correspond to the OSp(N|32) above, and haven’t been shown

to exist [5.34]. The light-cone form of the identity (5.4.9) ((7.3.17)) is equivalent to

!

the division algebra identity |xy| = |x||y| (|x|2 = xx* = x0 2 + xi 2 ), where both

the vector and spinor indices on the light-cone γ-matrices correspond to the index for

(z 0 , z i ) (all ranging over D − 2 values) [5.35].

110 5. PARTICLE

A similar ﬁrst-quantization analysis will be made for the superstring in sect. 7.3.

5.5. SuperBRST

**Instead of using the covariant quantization which would follow directly from the
**

constraint analysis of (5.4.12), we will derive here the BRST algebra which follows

from the light-cone by the method of sect. 3.6, which treats bosons and fermions sym-

metrically [3.16]. We begin with any (reducible) light-cone Poincaré representation

which is also a supersymmetry representation, and extend also the light-cone super-

symmetry generators to 4+4 extra dimensions. The resulting OSp(D+1,3|4) spinor

does not commute with the BRST OSp(1,1|2) generators, and thus mixes physical and

unphysical states. Fortunately, this extended supersymmetry operator q can easily

be projected down to its OSp(1,1|2) singlet piece q 0 . We begin with the fact that the

light-cone supersymmetry generator is a tensor operator in a spinor representation of

the Lorentz group:

[J ab , q] = − 12 γ ab q , (5.5.1)

**where γ ab = 12 γ [a γ b] . (All γ’s are now Dirac γ-matrices, not the generalized γ’s of
**

(5.4.1,2).) As a result, its extension to 4+4 extra dimensions transforms with respect

to the U(1)-type OSp(1,1|2) as

[J AB , q} = − 12 (γ AB + γ A B )q . (5.5.2)

**It will be useful to combine γ A and γ A into creation and annihilation operators as in
**

(4.5.9):

γ A = aA + a† A , γ A = i(aA − a† A ) ; {aA , a† B ] = η AB (5.5.3)

→ 1

2 (γ AB + γ A B ) = a† [A aB) . (5.5.4)

**(a† A aB , without symmetrization, are a representation of U(1, 1|1, 1).) We choose
**

boundary conditions such that all “states” can be created by the creation operators

a† from a “vacuum” annihilated by the annihilation operators a. (This choice, elim-

inating states obtained from a second vacuum annihilated by a† , is a type of Weyl

projection.) This vacuum is a fermionic spinor (acted on by γ a ) whose statistics are

changed by a†α (but not by a† ± ). If q is a real spinor, we can preserve this reality by

choosing a representation where γ A is real and γ A is imaginary. (In the same way, for

the ordinary harmonic oscillator the ground state can be chosen to be a real function

5.5. SuperBRST 111

**of x, and the creation operator ∼ x − ∂/∂x preserves the reality.) The corresponding
**

charge-conjugation matrix is C = iγ 5 , where

1 c ,γ c̃ }

γ 5 = 12 [γ + , γ − ]eπ 2 {γ , (5.5.5)

with γ α = (γ c , γ c̃ ). (eiγ 5 π/4 converts to the representation where both γ A and γ A

are real.)

We now project to the OSp(1,1|2) singlet

[J AB , q 0 } = 0 → q 0 = δ(a†A aA )q , (5.5.6)

**where the Kronecker δ projects down to ground states with respect to these creation
**

operators. It satisﬁes

δ(a† a)a† = aδ(a† a) = 0 . (5.5.7)

This projector can be rewritten in various forms:

π

du iua†A aA

δ(a†A aA ) = δ(a†α aα )a+ a− a† + a† − = e . (5.5.8)

−π 2π

**We next check that this symmetry of the physical states is the usual supersym-
**

metry. We start with the light-cone commutation relations

{q, q̄} = 2P p/ , (5.5.9)

**where P is a Weyl projector, when necessary, and, as usual, q̄ = q † η, with η the
**

hermitian spinor metric satisfying γ † η = ηγ. (η’s explicit form will change upon

adding dimensions because of the change in signature of the Lorentz metric.) We

then ﬁnd

{q 0 , q̄0 } = δ(a† a)2P p/δ(a† a) = 2Pδ(a† a)γ a pa , (5.5.10)

where the γ A and γ A terms have been killed by the δ(a† a)’s on the left and right.

The factors other than 2γ a pa project to the physical subspace (i.e., restrict the range

of the extended spinor index to that of an ordinary Lorentz spinor). The analogous

construction for the GL(1)-type OSp(1,1|2) fails, since in that case the corresponding

projector δ(η BA γ A γ B ) = δ(η BA γ A γ B )† (whereas δ(a† a) is hermitian), and the 2 δ’s

then kill all terms in p/ except η BA γ A pB .

As a special case, we consider arbitrary massless representations of supersymme-

try. The light-cone representation of the supersymmetry generators is (cf. (5.4.20a))

1

q = q+ − γ + γ i pi q + , (5.5.11a)

2p+

112 5. PARTICLE

where q + is a self-conjugate light-cone spinor:

γ −q+ = 0 , {q + , q̄ + } = 2Pγ − p+ . (5.5.11b)

**Thus, q + has only half as many nonvanishing components as a Lorentz spinor, and
**

only half of those are independent, the other half being their conjugates. The Poincaré

algebra is then speciﬁed by

1

M ij = q̄γ + γ ij q + M̌ ij , (5.5.12)

16p+

where M̌ is an irreducible representation of SO(D-2), the superspin, specifying the

spin of the Cliﬀord vacuum of q + . (Cf. (5.4.21,22). We have normalized the q̄q term

for Majorana q.)

After adding 4+4 dimensions, q + can be Lorentz-covariantly further divided using

γ ± :

√ ∂

q + = p+ + 2γ − θ ,

∂ θ̄

∂ ∂

γ− = γ + θ = γ + = γ − θ = 0 ,

∂ θ̄ ∂ θ̄

∂

, θ̄ = P( 12 γ − γ + )( 12 γ + γ − ) . (5.5.13)

∂ θ̄

After substitution of (5.5.11,12) into (5.5.6), we ﬁnd

† √ ∂ 2

q 0 = δ(a a) p+ + √ (γ a pa + γ α pα )θ . (5.5.14)

∂ θ̄ p+

From (5.5.12) we obtain the corresponding spin operators (for Majorana θ)

∂ ∂

M ab = 12 θ̄γ ab + M̌ ab , M αβ + M α β = θ̄a† (α aβ) + M̌ αβ + M̌ α β ,

∂ θ̄ ∂ θ̄

∂

M − + = − 12 θ̄ + M̌ − + , M + α = 12 θ̄γ − γ + γ α θ + M̌ + α ,

∂ θ̄

∂ 1 ∂ ∂

M αa = 12 θ̄γ α γ a

+ M̌ αa , M − α = 16 γ + γ − γ α + M̌ − α . (5.5.15)

∂ θ̄ ∂θ ∂ θ̄

Finally, we perform the unitary transformations (3.6.13) to ﬁnd

∂

q 0 = δ(a† a) + 2γ a pa θ . (5.5.16)

∂ θ̄

The δ now projects out just the OSp(1,1|2)-singlet part of θ (i.e., the usual Lorentz

spinor):

∂

q0 = + γ a pa θ 0 ,

∂ θ̄ 0

5.5. SuperBRST 113

∂ ∂ ∂

= δ(a† a) , θ0 = 2δ(a a)θ †

, , θ̄0 = Pδ(a† a) . (5.5.17)

∂ θ̄ 0 ∂ θ̄ ∂ θ̄ 0

(5.5.15) can be substituted into (3.6.14). We then ﬁnd the OSp(1,1|2) generators

J +α = ixα p+ , J −+ = −ix− p+ ,

J αβ = −ix(α pβ) + M ,

αβ

1 βp + Q

J −α = −ix− pα + −ixα 21 (pa 2 + pβ pβ ) + M α β α ; (5.5.18a)

p+

= θ̄a† a ∂ + M̌

M αβ (α β) αβ + M̌ α β ,

∂ θ̄

∂ ∂

Q α = − i 18 + iγ − γ + γ a pa θ γ + γ − a† α − iγ − γ + γ a pa θ

∂ θ̄ ∂ θ̄

+ M̌ − α + M̌ α a pa + 12 M̌ + α pa 2 , (5.5.18b)

**and J ab = −ix[a pb] + 12 θ̄γ ab ∂/∂ θ̄ + M̌ ab for the Lorentz generators. Finally, we can
**

remove all dependence on γ ± and γ ± by extracting the corresponding γ 0 factors

contributing to the spinor metric η:

γ 0 = −i 12 (γ + − γ − )(γ + − γ − ) = γ 0 † , δ(a† a)γ 0 = γ 0 δ(a† a) = δ(a† a) ,

∂ ∂ ∂

→ γ0 = i 12 γ − γ + , θ̄ → θ̄γ 0 = i 12 θ̄γ + γ − ,

∂ θ̄ ∂ θ̄ ∂ θ̄

∂ ∂

(γ + , γ − ) = (γ + , γ − )θ = θ̄(γ − , γ + ) = (γ − , γ + ) = 0 ,

∂ θ̄ ∂θ

∂

, θ̄ = P( 12 γ + γ − )( 12 γ − γ + ) ; (5.5.19a)

∂ θ̄

and then convert to the harmonic oscillator basis with respect to these γ’s:

∂ † † ∂ † †

→ ea + a − , θ → 12 ea +a −

θ ,

∂ θ̄ ∂ θ̄

∂ ∂ a+ a−

θ̄ → 12 θ̄ea+ a− , → e ;

∂θ ∂θ

∂ ∂ †

a± = a± θ = θ̄a† ± = a±=0 ;

∂ θ̄ ∂θ

∂

, θ̄ = P(a+ a− a† + a† − ) . (5.5.19b)

∂ θ̄

All a± ’s and a† ± ’s can then be eliminated, and the corresponding projection operators

(the factor multiplying P in (5.5.19b)) dropped. The only part of (5.5.18) (or the

Lorentz generators) which gets modiﬁed is

= − 1 q̄a† d + M̌ + M̌ a p + 1 M̌ p 2

Q ,

α 2 α −α α a 2 +α a

114 5. PARTICLE

∂ ∂

q= + γ a pa θ , d= − γ a pa θ ,

∂ θ̄ ∂ θ̄

q 0 = δ(a†α aα )q , d0 = δ(a†α aα )d . (5.5.20)

level by level in a† ’s, we ﬁnd a q at each level

If we expand the ﬁrst term in Q α α

**multiplying a d of the previous level. In particular, the ﬁrst-level ghost q 1α multiplies
**

the physical d0 . This means that d0 = 0 is eﬀectively imposed for only half of its

spinor components, since the components of q are not all independent.

An interesting characteristic of this type of BRST (as well as more conventional

BRST obtained by ﬁrst-quantization) is that spinors obtain inﬁnite towers of ghosts.

In fact, this is necessary to allow the most general possible gauges. The simplest

explicit example is BRST quantization of the action of sect. 4.5 for the Dirac spinor

quantized in a gauge where the gauge-ﬁxed kinetic operators are all p2 instead of

p/. However, these ghosts are not all necessary for the gauge invariant theory, or for

certain types of gauges. For example, for the type of gauge invariant actions for

spinors described in sect. 4.5, the only parts of the inﬁnite-dimensional OSp(D-1,1|2)

spinors which are not pure gauge are the usual Lorentz spinors. (E.g., the OSp(D-

1,1|2) Dirac spinor reduces to an ordinary SO(D-1,1) Dirac spinor.) For gauge-ﬁxed,

4D N=1 supersymmetric theories, supergraphs use chains of ghost superﬁelds which

always terminate with chiral superﬁelds. Chiral superﬁelds can be irreducible oﬀ-shell

representations of supersymmetry since they eﬀectively depend on only half of the

components of θ. (An analog also exists in 6D, with or without the use of harmonic

superspace coordinates [4.12].) However, no chiral division of θ exists in 10D (θ is a

real representation of SO(9,1)), so an inﬁnite tower of ghost superﬁelds is necessary

for covariant background-ﬁeld gauges. (For covariant non-background-ﬁeld gauges,

all but the usual ﬁnite Faddeev-Popov ghosts decouple.) Thus, the inﬁnite tower is

not just a property of the type of ﬁrst-quantization used, but is an inherent property

of the second-quantized theory. However, even in background-ﬁeld gauges the inﬁnite

tower (except for the Faddeev-Popovs) contribute only at one loop to the eﬀective

action, so their evaluation is straightforward, and the only expected problem would

be their summation.

The basic reason for the tower of θ’s is the fact that only 1/4 (or, in the massive

case, 1/2) of them appear in the gauge-invariant theory on-shell, but if θ is an irre-

ducible Lorentz representation it’s impossible to cancel 3/4 (or 1/2) of it covariantly.

We thus eﬀectively obtain the sums

1

1−1+1−1+··· = 2 , (5.5.21a)

5.5. SuperBRST 115

1

1−2+3−4+··· = 4 . (5.5.21b)

(The latter series is the “square” of the former.) The positive contributions rep-

resent the physical spinor (or θ) and fermionic ghosts at even levels, the negative

contributions represent bosonic ghosts at odd levels (contributing in loops with the

1 1

opposite sign), and the 2 or 4 represents the desired contribution (as obtained directly

in light-cone gauges). Adding consecutive terms in the sum gives a nonconvergent

(but nondivergent in case (5.5.21a)) result which oscillates about the desired result.

However, there are unambiguous ways to regularize these sums. For example, if

we represent the levels in terms of harmonic oscillators (one creation operator for

(5.5.21a), and the 2 a† α ’s for (5.5.21b)), these sums can be represented as integrals

over coherent states (see (9.1.12)). For (5.5.21a), we have:

d2 z −|z|2

†

str(1) = tr (−1)N = e z (−1)a a z

π

2 2

d z −|z|2 d z −2|z|2 1 d2 z −|z|2

= e z| − z

= e =2 e

π π π

= 12 , (5.5.22)

**where str is the supertrace; for (5.5.21b), the supertrace over the direct product
**

corresponding to 2 sets of oscillators factors into the square of (5.5.22). (The corre-

sponding partition function is str(xN ) = 1/(1 + x) = 1 − x + x2 − · · ·, and for 2 sets

of oscillators 1/(1 + x)2 = 1 − 2x + 3x2 − · · ·.)

An interesting consequence of (5.5.21) is the preservation of the identity

D = 2(D−k)/2 ; D = str S (1) , D = str V (1) ; (5.5.23)

**upon adding (2, 2|4) dimensions, where D and D are the “superdimensions” of a
**

spinor and vector, deﬁned in terms of supertraces of the identity for that representa-

tion, and k is an integer which depends on whether the dimension is even or odd and

whether the spinor is Weyl and/or Majorana (see sect. 5.3). k is unchanged by adding

(2, 2|4) dimensions, D changes by addition of 4 − 4 = 0, and, because of (5.5.21), D

changes by a factor of 22 · ( 12 )2 = 1. This identity is important for super-Yang-Mills

and superstrings.

Before considering the action for arbitrary supersymmetric theories, we’ll ﬁrst

study the equations of motion, since the naive kinetic operators may require extra

factors to write a suitable lagrangian. Within the OSp(1,1|2) formalism, the gauge-

ﬁxed ﬁeld equations are (cf. (4.4.19))

(p2 + M 2 )φ = 0 (5.5.24a)

116 5. PARTICLE

**when subject to the (Landau) gauge conditions [2.3]
**

φ=M

Q φ=0 . (5.5.24b)

α αβ

**Applying these gauge conditions to the gauge transformations, we ﬁnd the residual
**

gauge invariance

Λα

δφ = −i 12 Q , 2 Λα = M

− 32 (p2 + M 2 ) + Q Λ + C Λ = 0 . (5.5.24c)

α αβ γ γ(α β)

+

(In the IGL(1) formalism, sect. 4.2, the corresponding equations involve just the Q

+ and M

component of Qα and the M 3 components of M

αβ , but are equivalent, since

+ = M

M 3 = 0 → M

− = 0, and Q

+ = M

− = 0 → Q

− = 0.)

**For simplicity, we consider the massless case, and M̌ ij = 0. We can then choose
**

the reference frame where pa = δ a + p+ , and solve these equations in light-cone nota-

tion. (The +’s and −’s now refer to the usual Lorentz components; the unphysical x− ,

p+ , and γ ± have already been eliminated.) The gauge conditions (5.5.24b) eliminate

auxiliary degrees of freedom (as ∂ · A = p+ A− = 0 eliminates A− in Yang-Mills),

and (5.5.24c) eliminates remaining gauge degrees of freedom (as A+ in light-cone-

gauge Yang-Mills). We divide the spinors d, q, ∂/∂θ, and θ into halves using γ ± , and

then further divide those into complex conjugate halves as creation and annihilation

operators, as in (5.4.27,29):

d → γ + d, γ − d → da , d¯a , ∂ a , ∂¯a ,

q → γ + q, γ − q → q a , q̄a , ∂ a , ∂¯a , (5.5.25)

where the “−” parts of d and q are both just partial derivatives because the mo-

mentum dependence drops out in this frame, and d, d¯ and q, q̄ have graded harmonic

oscillator commutators (up to factors of p+ ). (5.5.20) then becomes

∼ q̄ a a† ∂ + q a† ∂¯a + ∂¯a a† d + ∂ a† d¯a

Q . (5.5.26)

α α a a α α a a α

** consists of terms of the form AB, either A or B can be chosen as the con-
**

Since Qα

**straint in (5.5.24b), and the other will generate gauge transformations in (5.5.24c).
**

We can thus choose either ∂ a , or d¯a and q̄a , and similarly for the complex conjugates,

except for the Sp(2) singlets, where the choice is between ∂ a and just d¯a (and simi-

larly for the complex conjugates). However, choosing both d and d¯ (or both q and q̄)

for constraints causes the ﬁeld to vanish, and choosing them both for gauge genera-

tors allows the ﬁeld to be completely gauged away. As a result, the only consistent

constraints and gauge transformations are

**d¯a φ = (aα q̄ a )φ = ∂¯a φ = 0 , δφ = ∂ a λ̄a , (5.5.27a)
**

5.5. SuperBRST 117

**subject to the restriction that the residual gauge transformations preserve the gauge
**

choice (explicitly, (5.5.24c), although it’s more convenient to re-solve for the residual

invariance in light-cone notation). (There is also a complex conjugate term in φ if it

satisﬁes a reality condition. For each value of the index a, the choice of which oscillator

is creation and which is annihilation is arbitrary, and corresponding components of d

and d¯ or q and q̄ can be switched by changing gauges.) Choosing the gauge

θ−a φ = 0 , (5.5.27b)

for the residual gauge transformation generated by ∂ a = ∂/∂θ−a , the ﬁeld becomes

φ(θ+ , θ̄+ , θ− , θ̄− ) = δ(aα θ+ )δ(θ− )ϕ(θ0 + , θ̄0 + ) , d¯0 ϕ = 0 . (5.5.28)

**ϕ is the usual chiral light-cone superﬁeld (as in sect. 5.4), a function of only 1/4 of
**

the usual Lorentz spinor θ0 . This agrees with the general result of equivalence to the

light cone for U(1)-type 4+4-extended BRST given at the end of sect. 4.5.

**Since the physical states again appear in the middle of the θ expansion (including
**

ghost θ’s), we can again use (4.1.1) as the action: In the light-cone gauge, from

(5.5.28), integrating over the δ-functions,

S= dx dθ0 + dθ̄0 + ϕ̄2 ϕ , (5.5.29)

**which is the standard light-cone superspace action [5.25]. As usual for the expansion
**

of superﬁelds into light-cone superﬁelds, the physical light-cone superﬁeld appears in

the middle of the non-light-cone-θ expansion of the gauge superﬁeld, with auxiliary

light-cone superﬁelds appearing at higher orders and pure gauge ones at lower orders.

Because some of the ghost θ’s are commuting, we therefore expect an inﬁnite num-

ber of auxiliary ﬁelds in the gauge-covariant action, as in the harmonic superspace

formalism [4.12]. This may be necessary in general, because this treatment includes

self-dual multiplets, such as 10D super-Yang-Mills. (This multiplet is superspin 0,

and thus does not require the superspin M̌ ij to be self-dual, so it can be treated in the

OSp(1,1|2) formalism. However, an additional self-conjugacy condition on the light-

cone superﬁeld is required, (5.4.31b), and a covariant OSp(1,1|2) statement of this

condition would be necessary.) However, in some cases (such as 4D N=1 supersym-

metry) it should be possible to truncate out all but a ﬁnite number of these auxiliary

superﬁelds. This would require an (inﬁnite) extension of the group OSp(1,1|2) (per-

haps involving part of the unphysical supersymmetries aα q), in the same way that

extending IGL(1) to OSp(1,1|2) eliminates Nakanishi-Lautrup auxiliary ﬁelds.

118 5. PARTICLE

**The unusual form of the OSp(1, 1|2) operators for supersymmetric particles may
**

require new mechanics actions for them. It may be possible to derive these actions

by inverting the quantization procedure, ﬁrst using the BRST algebra to derive the

hamiltonian and then ﬁnding the gauge-invariant classical mechanics lagrangian.

Exercises

**(1) Derive (5.1.2) from (5.1.1) and (3.1.11).
**

(2) Show that, under the usual gauge transformation A → A + ∂λ, exp[−iq

τf

τi

.

dτ x ·

A(x)] transforms with a factor exp{−iq[λ(x(τ f )) − λ(x(τ i ))]}. (In a Feynman

path integral, this corresponds to a gauge transformation of the ends of the prop-

agator.)

(3) Fourier transform (5.1.13), using (5.1.14). Explicitly evaluate the proper-time

integral in the massless case to ﬁnd the coordinate-space Green function satisfying

2 G(x, x ) = δ D (x − x ) for arbitrary D > 2. Do D = 2 by diﬀerentiating with

respect to x2 , then doing the proper-time integral, and ﬁnally integrating back

with respect to x2 . (There is an inﬁnite constant of integration which must be

renormalized.) For comparison, do D = 2 by taking the limit from D > 2.

(4) Use the method described in (5.1.13,14) to evaluate the 1-loop propagator correc-

tion in φ3 theory. Compare the corresponding calculation with the covariantized

light-cone method of sect. 2.6. (See exercise (7) of that chapter.)

(5) Derive (5.2.1), and ﬁnd J 3 . Derive (5.2.2) and the rest of the OSp(1,1|2) algebra.

Show these results agree with those of sect. 3.4.

(6) Quantize (5.3.10) in the 3 supersymmetric gauges described in that section, and

ﬁnd the corresponding IGL(1) (and OSp(1,1|2), when possible) algebras in each

case, using the methods of sects. 3.2-3. Note that the methods of sect. 3.3 require

some generalization, since commuting antighosts can be conjugate to the corre-

sponding ghosts and still preserve Sp(2): [C α , C β ] ∼ C αβ . Show equivalence to

the appropriate algebras of sects. 3.4-5.

(7) Derive the tables in sect. 5.3. (Review the group theory of SO(N) spinors, if

necessary.) Use the tables to derive the groups, equivalent to SO(D + ,D − ) for

D ≤ 6, for which these spinors are the deﬁning representation.

(8) Express the real-spinor γ-matrices of sect. 5.3 in terms of the σ-matrices there for

arbitrary D + and D − . Use the Majorana representation where the spinor is not

Exercises 119

**necessarily explicitly real, but equivalent to a real one, such that: (1) for complex
**

representations, the bottom half of the spinor is the complex conjugate of the top

half (each being irreducible); (2) for pseudoreal representations, the bottom half

is the complex conjugate again but with the index converted with a metric to

make it explicitly the same representation as the top; (3) for real representations,

the spinor is just the real, irreducible one. Find the matrices representing the

internal symmetry (U(1) for complex and SU(2) for pseudoreal).

**(9) Check the Jacobi identities for the covariant derivatives whose algebra is given
**

in (5.4.8). Check closure of the algebra (5.4.10) in D = 10, including the extra

generator described in the text.

(10) Derive (5.4.13).

(11) Write the explicit action and transformation laws for (5.4.16).

**(12) Write the explicit equations of motion (5.4.12), modiﬁed by (5.4.23), for a scalar
**

superﬁeld for N=1 supersymmetry in D=4. Show that this gives the usual co-

variant constraints and ﬁeld equations (up to constants of integration) for the

chiral scalar superﬁeld (scalar multiplet). Do the same for a spinor superﬁeld,

and obtain the equations for the vector-multiplet ﬁeld strength.

**(13) Derive the explicit form of the twistor ﬁelds for D=3,4,6. Find an explicit ex-
**

pression for the supersymmetrized Pauli-Lubansky vector in D=4 in terms of

supertwistors, and show that it automatically gives an explicit expression for the

superhelicity H of (5.4.23) as an operator in supertwistor space. Show the su-

pertwistor Pauli-Lubansky vector automatically vanishes in D=3, and derive an

expression in D=6.

120 6. CLASSICAL MECHANICS

6. CLASSICAL MECHANICS

6.1. Gauge covariant

**In this chapter we’ll consider the mechanics action for the string and its gauge
**

ﬁxing, as a direct generalization of the treatment of the particle in the previous

chapter.

The ﬁrst-order action for string mechanics is obtained by generalizing the 1-

dimensional particle mechanics world-line of (5.1.1) to a 2-dimensional world sheet

[6.1]:

1 d2 σ

S= (∂ m X) · P m + gmn 12 P m · P n , (6.1.1)

α 2π

where X(σ m ) is the position in the higher-dimensional space in which the world

sheet is imbedded of the point whose location in the world sheet itself is given by

σ m = (σ 0 , σ 1 ) = (τ, σ), d2 σ = dσ 0 dσ 1 = dτ dσ, ∂ m = (∂ 0 , ∂ 1 ) = (∂/∂τ, ∂/∂σ), and

gmn = (−g)−1/2 g mn is the unit-determinant part of the 2D metric. (Actually, it has

determinant −1.) 1/2πα is both the string tension and the rest-mass per unit length.

(Their ratio, the square of the velocity of wave propagation in the string, is unity in

units of the speed of light: The string is relativistic.) This action is invariant under

2D general coordinate transformations (generalizing (5.1.4); see sect. 4.1):

δX =

m ∂ m X ,

δP m = ∂ n (

n P m ) − P n ∂ n

m ,

δgmn = ∂ p (

p gmn ) − gp(m ∂ p

n) . (6.1.2)

**Other forms of this action which result from eliminating various combinations of
**

the auxiliary ﬁelds P m and gmn are

1

S =

d2 σ .

X ·P 0

−

1 1 02

+ X 2 ) −

g01 0

P · X

2 (P (6.1.3a)

α 2π g11 g11

1 d2 σ

=

.

X · P 0 − λ+ 41 (P 0 + X )2 − λ− 41 (P 0 − X )2

(6.1.3b)

α 2π

6.1. Gauge covariant 121

1 d2 σ mn 1

=− g 2 (∂ m X) · (∂ n X) (6.1.3c)

α 2π

1 d2 σ √

= (∂ m X) · P m + −det P m · P n (6.1.3d)

α 2π

2

1 dσ 1

=− −det (∂ m X) · (∂ n X) = − −(dX a ∧ dX b )2 ,

α 2π α

(6.1.3e)

1 1 dσ

where α

P0 is the momentum (σ-)density (the momentum p = α 2π

P 0 ), = ∂/∂σ,

and to obtain (6.1.3d) we have used the determinant of the g equations of motion

P m · P n − 12 gmn gpq P p · P q = 0 . (6.1.4)

**As a consequence of this equation and the equation of motion for P , the 2D metric is
**

proportional to the “induced” metric ∂ m X ·∂ n X (as appears in (6.1.3e)), which results

from measuring distances in the usual Minkowski way in the D-dimensional space in

which the 2D surface is imbedded (using dX = dσ m ∂ m X). (The equations of motion

don’t determine the proportionality factor, since only the unit-determinant part of

the metric appears in the action.) In analogy to the particle, (6.1.4) also represents

the generators of 2D general-coordinate transformations. (6.1.3a) is the hamiltonian

form, (6.1.3b) is a rewriting of the hamiltonian form to resemble the example (3.1.14)

(but with the indefinite-metric sum of squares of both left- and right-handed modes

constrained), (6.1.3c) is the second-order form, and (6.1.3e) is the area swept out by

the world sheet [6.2]. If the theory is derived from the form (6.1.3b), there are 2 sets

of transformation laws of the form (3.1.15) (with appropriate sign diﬀerences), and

(6.1.2,3c) can then be obtained as (3.1.16,17).

**For the open string, the X equations of motion also imply certain boundary
**

conditions in σ. (By deﬁnition, the closed string has no boundary in σ.) Varying the

(∂X) · P term and integrating by parts to pull out the δX factor, besides the equation

of motion term ∂P we also get a surface term nm P m , where nm is the normal to the

boundary. If we assume 2D coordinates such that the position of the σ boundaries

are constant in τ , then we have the boundary condition

P1 = 0 . (6.1.5)

**It’s convenient to deﬁne the quantities
**

1

P (±) = √ (P 0 ± X ) (6.1.6a)

2α

122 6. CLASSICAL MECHANICS

**because the hamiltonian constraints appearing in (6.1.3b) (equivalent to (6.1.4)) can
**

be expressed very simply in terms of them as

P (±)2 = 0 , (6.1.6b)

and because they have simple Poisson brackets with each other. For the open string,

it’s further useful to extend σ: If we choose coordinates such that σ = 0 for all τ at

one end of the string, and such that (6.1.5) implies X = 0 at that end, then we can

deﬁne

1

X(σ) = X(−σ) , P (σ) = √

(P 0 + X ) = P (±) (±σ) f or ± σ > 0 , (6.1.7a)

2α

so the constraint (6.1.6b) simpliﬁes to

P 2 = 0 . (6.1.7b)

6.2. Conformal gauge

The conformal gauge is given by the gauge conditions (on (6.1.1,3ac))

gmn = η mn , (6.2.1)

**where η is the 2D ﬂat (Minkowski) space metric. (Since g is unit-determinant, it has
**

only 2 independent components, so the 2 gauge parameters of (6.1.2) are suﬃcient

to determine it completely.) As for the particle, this gauge can’t be obtained every-

where, so it’s imposed everywhere except the boundary in τ . Then variation of g at

initial or ﬁnal τ implies (6.1.4) there, and the remaining ﬁeld equations then imply it

everywhere. In this gauge those equations are

P m = −∂ m X , ∂mP m = 0 → ∂2X = 0 . (6.2.2)

It is now easy to see that the endpoints of the string travel at the speed of light. (With

. .

slight generalization, this can be shown in arbitrary gauges.) From (6.1.4,5) and

.

(6.2.1,2), we ﬁnd that dX = dτ X, and thus dX · dX = dτ 2 X 2 = dτ 2 (X 2 + X 2 ) = 0.

(6.2.2) is most easily solved by the use of 2D light-cone coordinates

± 1 0 1

σ = √ (σ 1 ∓ σ 0 ) → η mn = = η mn , (6.2.3)

2 1 0

where 2D indices now take the values ±. We then have

∂ + ∂ − X = 0 → X = 12 [X̂ (+) (τ + σ) + X̂ (−) (τ − σ)] . (6.2.4a)

6.2. Conformal gauge 123

**For the open string, the boundary condition at one boundary, chosen to be σ = 0, is
**

.̂ (+)

.̂

(∂ + + ∂ − )X = 0 → X (τ ) = X (−) (τ ) → X̂ (+) (τ ) = X̂ (−) (τ ) , (6.2.4b)

**without loss of generality, since the constant parts of X̂ (±) appear in X only as their
**

sum. Thus, the modes of the open string correspond to the modes of one handedness

of the closed string. The boundary condition at the other boundary of the open

string, taken as σ = π, and the “boundary” condition of the closed string, which is

simply that the “ends” at σ = ±π are the same point (and thus the closed string X

is periodic in σ with period 2π, or equivalently X and X have the same values at

σ = π as at σ = −π) both take the form

.̂ (±)

.̂

X (τ + 2π) = X (±) (τ ) → X̂ (±) (τ + 2π) = X̂ (±) (τ ) + 4παp(±) , (6.2.4c)

p(+) = p(−) . (6.2.4d)

The constraints (6.1.4) also simplify:

P ±2 (τ, σ) = 12 X̂ (±)2 (τ ± σ) = 0 . (6.2.5)

These constraints will be used to build the BRST algebra in chapt. 8.

**The fact that the modes of the open string correspond to half the modes of
**

the closed string (except that both have 1 zero-mode) means that the open string

can be formulated as a closed string with modes of one handedness (clockwise or

counterclockwise). This is accomplished by adding to the action (6.1.1) for the closed

string the term

d2 σ 1

S1 = ua ub λmn 12 (gmp −

mp ) 12 (gnq −

nq )(∂ p X a )(∂ q X b ) , (6.2.6)

2π 2

where u is a constant, timelike or lightlike (but not spacelike) vector (u2 ≤ 0), and

**+− = −1. λ is a lagrange multiplier which constrains (u · ∂ − X)2 = 0, and thus
**

u · ∂ − X = 0, in the gauge (6.2.1). Together with (6.2.5), this implies the Lorentz

covariant constraint ∂ − X a = 0, so X depends only on τ − σ, as in (3.1.14-17). Thus,

the formulation using (6.2.6) is Lorentz covariant even though S 1 is not manifestly

so (because of the constant vector u). We can then identify the new X with the X̂ of

(6.2.4). Since λ itself appears multiplied by ∂ − X in the equations of motion, it thus

drops out, implying that it’s a gauge degree of freedom which, like g, can be gauged

away except at inﬁnity.

124 6. CLASSICAL MECHANICS

**Similar methods can be applied to the one-handed modes of the heterotic string
**

[1.13]. (Then in (6.2.6) only spacelike X’s appear, so instead of ua ub any positive-

deﬁnite metric can be used, eﬀectively summing over the one-handed X’s.) Various

properties of the actions (3.1.17, 6.2.6) have been discussed in the literature [6.3], par-

ticularly in relation to anomalies in the gauge symmetry of the lagrange multipliers

upon naive lagrangian quantization. One simple way to avoid these anomalies while

keeping a manifestly covariant 2D lagrangian is to add scalars φ with the squares of

both ∂ − φ and ∂ + φ appearing in lagrange-multiplier terms [6.4]. Alternatively (or ad-

ditionally), one can add Weyl-Majorana 2D spinors (i.e., real, 1-component, 1-handed

spinors) whose nonvanishing energy-momentum tensor component couples to the ap-

propriate lagrange multiplier. (E.g., a spinor with kinetic term ψ∂ + ψ appears also

in the term λ[(∂ − φ)2 + ψ∂ − ψ].) These nonpropagating ﬁelds appear together with

scalars with only one or the other handedness or neither constrained, and uncon-

strained fermions which are Weyl and/or Majorana or neither. There are (at most)

2 lagrange multipliers, one for each handedness.

In the conformal gauge there is still a residue of the gauge invariance, which origi-

nally included not only 2D general coordinate transformations but also local rescalings

of the 2D metric (since only its unit-determinant part appeared in the action). By

deﬁnition, the subset of these transformations which leave (6.2.1) invariant is the con-

formal group. Unlike in higher dimensions, the 2D conformal group has an inﬁnite

number of generators. It can easily be shown that these transformations consist of

the coordinate transformations (restricted by appropriate boundary conditions)

σ ± = ζ ± (σ ± ) , (6.2.7a)

**with ±’s not mixing (corresponding to 2 1D general coordinate transformations), since
**

these coordinate transformations have an eﬀect on the metric which can be canceled

by a local scaling:

dσ 2 = 2dσ + dσ − = ζ + ζ − 2dσ + dσ − . (6.2.7b)

On shell, these transformations are suﬃcient to gauge away one Lorentz component

of X, another being killed by the constraint (6.2.5). These 2 Lorentz components can

be eliminated more directly by originally choosing stronger gauge conditions, as in

the light-cone gauge.

The conformal gauge is a temporal gauge, since it is equivalent to setting the

time components of the gauge ﬁeld to constants: gm0 = η m0 . When generalized to

D > 2, it is the choice of Gaussian normal coordinates. We can instead choose a

6.3. Light cone 125

**Lorentz gauge, ∂ m gmn = 0. This is the De Donder gauge, or harmonic coordinates,
**

which is standardly used in D > 2. We’ll discuss this gauge in more detail in sect.

8.3.

6.3. Light cone

In a light-cone formalism [6.5] not only are more gauge degrees of freedom elim-

inated than in covariant gauges, but also more (Lorentz) auxiliary ﬁelds. We do

the latter ﬁrst by varying the action (6.1.1) with respect to all ﬁelds carrying a “−”

Lorentz index (X − , P m − ):

δ

→ ∂ m P m+ = 0 ; (6.3.1a)

δX −

δ

→ gmn = (Ar B r )−1 (

pm Ap

qn Aq − B m B n ) ,

δP m −

Am = P m + , Bm = ∂mX + . (6.3.1b)

We next eliminate all ﬁelds with a “+” index by gauge conditions:

τ: X + = kτ

σ: P 0+ = k , (6.3.2a)

**where k is an arbitrary constant. (The same procedure is applied in light-cone Yang-
**

Mills, where A− is eliminated as an auxiliary ﬁeld and A+ as a gauge degree of

freedom: see sect. 2.1.) The latter condition determines σ to be proportional to the

amount of +-momentum between σ = 0 and the point at that value of σ (so the string

length is proportional to dσP 0 + , which is a constant, since ∂ m P m + = 0). Thus,

σ is determined up to a function of τ (corresponding to the choice of where σ = 0).

However, P 1 + is also determined up to a function of τ (since now ∂ 1 P 1 + = 0), so σ

is completely determined, up to global translations σ → σ + constant, by the further

condition

P 1+ = 0 . (6.3.2b)

(6.3.2) implies (6.2.1). For the open string, by the converse of the argument leading

to the boundary condition (6.1.5), this determines the values of σ at the boundaries

up to constants, so the remaining global invariance is used to choose σ = 0 at one

boundary. For the closed string, the global invariance remains, and is customarily

dealt with in the quantum theory by imposing a constraint of invariance under this

transformation on the ﬁeld or ﬁrst-quantized wave function.

126 6. CLASSICAL MECHANICS

1 dσ 0

The length of the string is then given by integrating (6.3.2a): p+ = α 2π

P + =

(1/2πα )k · length. The two most convenient choices are

k=1 → length = 2πα p+

length = π (2π) → k = 2α p+ (α p+ ) f or open (closed) . (6.3.3)

**For the free string the latter choice is more convenient for the purpose of mode
**

expansions. In the case of interactions k must be constant even through interactions,

and therefore can’t be identiﬁed with the value of p+ of each string, so the former

choice is made. Note that for p+ < 0 the string then has negative length. It is then

interpreted as an antistring (or outgoing string, as opposed to incoming string). The

use of negative lengths is particularly useful for interactions, since then the vertices

are (cyclically) symmetric in all strings: e.g., a string of length 1 breaking into 2

1 1

strings of length 2 is equivalent to a string of length 2 breaking into strings of length

1 and − 12 .

**The action now becomes
**

S=

dτ

.

x

1

− p+ +

dσ

(∂ m X i )P m i + η mn 12 P m i P n i

, (6.3.4a)

α 2π

or, in hamiltonian form,

S=

dτ

.

x

1

dσ .

X i P 0 i − 12 (P 0 i 2 + X i 2 )

− p+ + . (6.3.4b)

α 2π

**X i is found as in (6.2.4), but X + is given by (6.3.2), and X − is given by varying the
**

original action with respect to the auxiliary ﬁelds gmn and P m + , conjugate to those

varied in (6.3.1):

δ

→ P m − = −P m i P 0 i − 12 δ 0 m η np P ni P pi

δgmn

δ dσ 1

m

→ X − = x− − P − + constant , (6.3.5)

δP + 2π

1 dσ

X

. 0 .

where the constant is chosen to cancel the integral when integrated over σ, so that

α 2π −P + = x− p+ in (6.3.4). (This term has been restored in (6.3.4) in order

to avoid using equations of motion to eliminate any coordinates whose equations of

motion involve time derivatives, and are thus not auxiliary. In (6.3.1a) all but the

zero-mode part of the X − equation can be used to solve for all but a σ-independent

part of P 1 + , without inverting time derivatives.)

Exercises 127

**After the continuous 2D symmetries have been eliminated by coordinate choices,
**

certain discrete symmetries remain: σ and τ reversal. As in the particle case, τ re-

versal corresponds to a form of charge conjugation. However, the open string has

a group theory factor associated with each end which is the complex-conjugate rep-

resentation of that at the other end (so for unitary representations they can cancel

for splitting or joining strings), so for charge conjugation the 2 ends should switch,

which requires σ reversal. Furthermore, the closed string has clockwise and coun-

terclockwise modes which are distinguishable (especially for the heterotic string), so

again we require σ reversal to accompany τ reversal to keep σ ± from mixing. We

therefore deﬁne charge conjugation to be the simultaneous reversal of τ and σ (or

σ → 2παp+ − σ to preserve the positions of the boundaries of the open string). On

the other hand, some strings are nonoriented (as opposed to the oriented ones above)

in that solutions with σ reversed are not distinguished (corresponding to open strings

with real representations for the group theory factors, or closed strings with clock-

wise modes not separated from counterclockwise). For such strings we also need to

deﬁne a σ reversal which, because of its action on the 2D surface, is called a “twist”.

In the quantum theory these invariances are imposed as constraints on the ﬁelds or

ﬁrst-quantized wave functions (see chapt. 10).

Exercises

(1) Derive (6.1.3) from (6.1.1). Derive (6.1.5).

(2) Derive (6.3.1).

128 7. LIGHT-CONE QUANTUM MECHANICS

**7. LIGHT-CONE QUANTUM
**

MECHANICS

7.1. Bosonic

**In this section we will quantize the light-cone gauge bosonic string described in
**

sect. 6.3 and derive the Poincaré algebra, which is a special case of that described in

sect. 2.3.

**The quantum mechanics of the free bosonic string is described in the light-cone
**

formalism [6.5] in terms of the independent coordinates X i (σ) and x− , and their

canonical conjugates P 0 i (σ) and p+ , with “time” (x+ = 2α p+ τ ) dependence given

by the hamiltonian (see (6.3.4b))

1 dσ 1 0 2

H= (P i + X i 2 ) . (7.1.1)

α 2π 2

Functionally,

1 0 δ δ

P i (σ) = i , , X j (σ 2 ) = δ ij 2πδ(σ 2 − σ 1 ) . (7.1.2)

α δX i (σ) δX i (σ 1 )

(Note our unconventional normalization for the functional derivative.)

**For the open string, it’s convenient to extend σ from [0, π] to [−π, π] as in (6.1.7)
**

by deﬁning

1 δ 1

X(−σ) = X(σ) , P (σ) = √ α i + X = √ P ± (±σ) f or ± σ > 0 ,

2α δX α

(7.1.3a)

so that P is periodic (and ∼ P + or P − , as in (6.2.5), for σ > or < 0), or to express

the open string as a closed string with modes which propagate only clockwise (or only

counterclockwise) in terms of X̂ of sect. 6.2:

1

P (σ) = √ X̂ (σ) , (7.1.3b)

2α

7.1. Bosonic 129

**which results in the same P (same boundary conditions and commutation relations).
**

The latter interpretation will prove useful for graph calculations. (However, the form

of the interactions will still look diﬀerent from a true closed string.) Either way, the

new boundary conditions (periodicity) allow (Fourier) expansion of all operators in

terms of exponentials instead of cosines or sines. Furthermore, P contains all of X

and δ/δX (except x, which is conjugate to p ∼ dσ P ; i.e., all the translationally

invariant part). In particular,

π

dσ 1 2

H= Pi . (7.1.4)

−π 2π 2

The commutation relations are

[P i (σ 1 ), P j (σ 2 )] = 2πiδ (σ 2 − σ 1 )δ ij . (7.1.5)

**For the closed string, we deﬁne 2 P ’s by
**

1 δ 1

P (±) (σ) = √ α i ± X (±σ) = √ X̂ (±) (σ) . (7.1.6)

2α δX(±σ) 2α

Then operators which are expressed in terms of integrals over σ also include sums

over ±: e.g., H = H (+) + H (−) , with H (±) given in terms of P (±) by (7.1.4).

In order to compare with particles, we’ll need to expand all operators in Fourier

modes. In practical calculations, functional techniques are easier, and mode expan-

sions should be used only as the ﬁnal step: external line factors in graphs, or expansion

of the eﬀective action. (Similar remarks apply in general ﬁeld theories to expansion of

superﬁelds in components and expansion of ﬁelds about vacuum expectation values.)

For P for the open string (suppressing Lorentz indices),

∞

P (σ) = αn e−inσ ,

n=−∞

√ √

α0 = 2αp , αn = (α−n )† = −i nan † ,

[p, x] = i , [αm , αn ] = nδ m+n,0 , [am , an † ] = δ mn . (7.1.7a)

**We also have
**

√ ∞

1

X̂(σ) = X̂ † (σ) = X̂ *(−σ) = (x + 2α pσ) + 2α √ (an † e−inσ + an einσ ) ,

1 n

δ

X(σ) = 1

2 X̂(σ) + X̂(−σ) , P 0 (σ) = α i = 12 X̂ (σ) + X̂ (−σ) .

δX(σ)

(7.1.7b)

130 7. LIGHT-CONE QUANTUM MECHANICS

†

(The and * have the usual matrix interpretation if the operators are considered

†

as matrices acting on the Hilbert space: The is the usual operatorial hermitian

conjugate, whereas the * is the usual complex conjugate as for functions, which

changes the sign of momenta. Combined they give the operatorial transpose, which

corresponds to integration by parts, and thus also changes the sign of momenta, which

are derivatives.) H is now deﬁned with normal ordering:

∞

1

H = 2 : αn · α−n : + constant

−∞

∞

= α pi 2 + nan † · an + constant = α pi 2 + N + constant . (7.1.8a)

1

**In analogy to ordinary ﬁeld theory, i∂/∂τ + H = α p2 + N + constant.
**

The constant in H has been introduced as a ﬁnite renormalization after the inﬁ-

nite renormalization done by the normal ordering: As in ordinary ﬁeld theory, wher-

ever inﬁnite renormalization is necessary to remove inﬁnities, ﬁnite renormalization

should also be considered to allow for the ambiguities in renormalization prescrip-

tions. However, also as in ordinary ﬁeld theories, the renormalization is required

to respect all symmetries of the classical theory possible (otherwise the symmetry is

anomalous, i.e., not a symmetry of the quantum theory). In the case of any light-cone

theory, the one symmetry which is never manifest (i.e., an automatic consequence of

the notation) is Lorentz invariance. (This sacriﬁce was made in order that unitarity

would be manifest by choosing a ghost-free gauge with only physical, propagating

degrees of freedom.) Thus, in order to prove Lorentz invariance isn’t violated, the

1 dσ 0

commutators of the Lorentz generators J ab = α 2π

X [a P b] must be checked. All

are trivial except [J −i , J −j ] = 0 because X − and P 0 − are quadratic in X i and P 0 i by

(6.3.5). The proof is left as an (important) exercise for the reader that the desired

result is obtained only if D = 26 and the renormalization constant in H and P 0 −

dσ 0

(H = − α1 2π

P −) is given by

H = α pi 2 + N − 1 ≡ α (pi 2 + M 2 ) . (7.1.8b)

**The constant in H also follows from noting that the ﬁrst excited level (a1i † |0
**

) is

just a transverse vector, which must be massless. The mass spectrum of the open

string, given by the operator M 2 , is then a harmonic oscillator spectrum: The possible

values of the mass squared are −1, 0, 1, 2, ... times 1/α , with spins at each mass

level running as high as N = α M 2 + 1. (The highest-spin state is created by the

symmetric traceless part of N a1 † ’s.)

7.1. Bosonic 131

**Group theory indices are associated with the ends of the open string, so the
**

string acts like a matrix in that space. If the group is orthogonal or symplectic,

the usual (anti)symmetry of the adjoint representation (as a matrix acting on the

vector representation) is imposed not just by switching the indices, but by ﬂipping

the whole string (switching the indices and σ ↔ π − σ). As a result, N odd gives

matrices with the symmetry of the adjoint representation (by including an extra “−”

sign in the condition to put the massless vector in that representation), while N even

gives matrices with the opposite symmetry. (A particular curiosity is the “SO(1)”

open string, which has only N even, and no massless particles.) Such strings, because

of their symmetry, are thus “nonoriented”. On the other hand, if the group is just

unitary, there is no symmetry condition, and the string is “oriented”. (The ends can

be labeled with arrows pointing in opposite directions, since the hermitian conjugate

state can be thought of as the corresponding “antistring”.)

**The closed string is treated analogously. The mode expansions of the coordinates
**

and operators are given in terms of 2 sets of hatted operators X̂ (±) or P (±) expanded

over α(±) n :

X(σ) = 1

2 X̂ (+) (σ) + X̂ (−) (−σ) , P 0 (σ) = 1

2 X̂ (+) (σ) + X̂ (−) (−σ) ;

X̂ (±) (σ) = X̂ (±)† (σ) = X̂ (±) *(−σ) → α(±) n = α(±) −n † = −α(±) n * . (7.1.9)

**However, because of the periodicity condition (6.2.4c), and since the zero-modes (from
**

(7.1.7)) appear only as their sum, they are not independent:

x(±) = x , p(±) = 12 p . (7.1.10)

**Operators which have been integrated over σ (as in (7.1.4)) can be expressed as sums
**

over two sets (±) of open-string operators: e.g.,

H = H (+) + H (−) = 12 α pi 2 + N − 2 , N = N (+) + N (−) . (7.1.11)

**Remembering the constraint under global σ translations
**

d dσ δ

i ≡ X ·i = ∆N ≡ N (+) − N (−) = 0 , (7.1.12)

dσ 2π δX

the spectrum is then given by the direct product of 2 open strings, but with the states

constrained so that the 2 factors (from the 2 open strings) give equal contributions

to the mass. The masses squared are thus −4, 0, 4, 8, ... times 1/α , and the highest

spin at any mass level is N = 12 α M 2 + 2 (with the corresponding state given by the

132 7. LIGHT-CONE QUANTUM MECHANICS

**symmetric traceless product of N a1 † ’s, half of which are from one open-string set
**

and half from the other). Compared with α M 2 + 1 for the open string, this means

that the “leading Regge trajectory” N(M 2 ) (see sec. 9.1) has half the slope and twice

the intercept for the closed string as for the open string. If we apply the additional

constraint of symmetry of the state under interchange of the 2 sets of string operators,

the state is symmetric under interchange of σ ↔ −σ, and is therefore “nonoriented”;

otherwise, the string is “oriented”, the clockwise and counterclockwise modes being

distinguishable (so the string can carry an arrow to distinguish it from a string that’s

ﬂipped over).

From now on we choose units

α = 1

2 . (7.1.13)

**In the case of the open bosonic string, the free light-cone Poincaré generators can
**

be obtained from the covariant expressions (the obvious generalization of the particle

expressions, because of (7.1.2), since X a and P 0 a are deﬁned to Lorentz transform as

vectors and X to translate by a constant),

π

dσ dσ 0

J ab = −i X [a (σ)P 0 b] (σ) , pa = P a (σ) , (7.1.14a)

−π 2π 2π

by substituting the gauge condition (6.3.2) and free ﬁeld equations (6.1.7) (using

(7.1.7))

P i 2 − 2

X̂ + (σ) = p+ σ , P 2 − 2 = 0 → P − = −

2p+

→ J ij = −ix[i pj] + a† n[i anj] ,

J +i = ixi p+ , J −+ = −ix− p+ ,

J −i = −i(x− pi − xi p− ) + a† n[− ani] ,

1 2

1 i

p− = − pi + 2 na† n i ani − 1 , an− = − (p ani + ∆n ) ,

2p+ p+

n−1 ∞

1

1 †

∆n = i √ 2 m(n − m)am an−m,i −

i

m(n + m)a m

i

an+m,i .

n m=1 m=1

(7.1.14b)

(We have added the normal-ordering constant of (7.1.8) to the constraint (6.1.7).)

As for arbitrary light-cone representations, the Poincaré generators can be expressed

completely in terms of the independent coordinates xi and x− , the corresponding

momenta pi and p+ , the mass operator M, and the generators of a spin SO(D−1),

7.1. Bosonic 133

**M ij and M im . For the open bosonic string, we have the usual oscillator representation
**

of the SO(D−2) spin generators

M ij = −i X̂ i P j = a† n[i anj] , (7.1.15a)

n

where means the zero-modes are dropped. The mass operator M and the remaining

SO(D−1) operators M im are given by

2

M = −2p+ P − = (P i 2 − 2) = 2 na† n i ani − 1 = 2(N − 1) ,

M im M = ip+ X̂ i P − = a† ni ∆n − ∆† n ani . (7.1.15b)

The usual light-cone formalism for the closed string is not a true light-cone for-

malism, in the sense that not all constraints have been solved explicitly by eliminating

variables: The one constraint that remains is that the contribution to the “energy”

p− from the clockwise modes is equal to that from the counterclockwise ones. As a

result, the naive Poincaré algebra does not close [4.10]: Using the expressions

J −i = −i(x− pi − xi p− ) + a†(±) n[− a(±) ni] ,

n,±

1 2

p− = − pi + 4 N (+) + N (−) − 2 , (7.1.16a)

2p+

we ﬁnd

4

[J −i , J −j ] = − ∆N∆J ij , (7.1.16b)

p+ 2

where ∆J ij is the diﬀerence between the (+) and (−) parts of J ij .

**We instead deﬁne 2 sets of open-string light-cone Poincaré generators J (±) ab and
**

p(±) a , built out of independent zero- and nonzero-modes. The closed-string Poincaré

generators are then [4.10]

J ab = J (+) ab + J (−) ab , pa = p(+) a + p(−) a . (7.1.17a)

**Since the operators
**

∆pa = p(+) a − p(−) a (7.1.17b)

**commute with themselves and transform as a vector under the Lorentz algebra, we
**

can construct a Poincaré algebra from just J ab and ∆pa . This is the Poincaré algebra

whose extension is relevant for string ﬁeld theory; it closes oﬀ shell. (This holds

in either light-cone or covariant quantization.) However, as described above, this

134 7. LIGHT-CONE QUANTUM MECHANICS

**results in an unphysical doubling of zero-modes. This can be ﬁxed by applying the
**

constraints (see (7.1.10))

∆pa = 0 . (7.1.18)

**In the light-cone formalism,
**

∆p+ = ∆pi = 0 (7.1.19a)

**eliminates independent zero-modes, while
**

1 2

0 = ∆p− = − (M 2(+) − M 2(−) ) = − ∆N (7.1.19b)

p+ p+

is then the usual remaining light-cone constraint equating the numbers of left-handed

and right-handed modes.

**The generators of the Lorentz subgroup again take the form (2.3.5), as for the
**

open string, and the operators appearing in J ab are expressed in terms of the open-

string ones appearing in (7.1.15) as

M ij = M (±) ij ,

M2 = 2 M 2(±) = 4(N − 2) , N= N (±) , ∆N = N (+) − N (−) ,

M im M = 2 (M im M)(±) . (7.1.20)

**(Since J ab and pa are expressed as sums, so are M ab and M. This causes objects
**

quadratic in these operators to be expressed as twice the sums in the presence of the

constraint ∆pa = 0 → p(±) a = 12 pa .)

**These Poincaré algebras will be used to derive the OSp(1,1|2) algebras used in
**

ﬁnding gauge-invariant actions in sects. 8.2 and 11.2.

7.2. Spinning

**In this section we’ll describe a string model with fermions obtained by introducing
**

a 2D supersymmetry into the world sheet [7.1,5.1], in analogy to sect. 5.3, and de-

rive the corresponding Poincaré algebra. The description of the superstring obtained

by this method isn’t manifestly spacetime supersymmetric, so we’ll only give a brief

discussion of this formalism before giving the present status of the manifestly super-

symmetric formulation. In both cases, (free) quantum consistency requires D = 10.

**For simplicity, we go directly to the (ﬁrst-)quantized formalism, since as far as
**

the ﬁeld theory is concerned the only relevant information from the free theory is how

7.2. Spinning 135

**to construct the covariant derivatives from the coordinates, and then the equations of
**

motion from the covariant derivatives. After quantization, when (in the Schrödinger

picture) the coordinates depend only on σ, there still remains a 1D supersymmetry

in σ-space [7.2]. The covariant derivatives are simply the 1D supersymmetrization of

the P operators of sect. 7.1 (or those of sect. 6.1 at the classical level, using Poisson

brackets):

{D̂ a (σ 1 , θ1 ), D̂b (σ 2 , θ2 )} = η ab d2 2πδ(σ 2 − σ 1 )δ(θ2 − θ1 ) , (7.2.1a)

D̂(σ, θ) = Ψ̂(σ) + θP (σ)

→ [P , P ] = as bef ore , {Ψ̂a (σ 1 ), Ψ̂b (σ 2 )} = η ab 2πδ(σ 2 − σ 1 ) . (7.2.1b)

**The 2D superconformal generators (the supersymmetrization of the generators (6.1.7b)
**

of 2D general coordinate transformations, or of just the residual conformal transfor-

mations after the lagrange multipliers have been gauged away) are then

1

2 D̂dD̂ = ( 12 Ψ̂ · P ) + θ( 12 P 2 + 12 iΨ̂ · Ψ̂) . (7.2.2)

There are 2 choices of boundary conditions:

D̂(σ, θ) = ±D̂(σ + 2π, ±θ) → P (σ) = P (σ + 2π) , Ψ̂(σ) = ±Ψ̂(σ + 2π) . (7.2.3)

**The + choice gives fermions (the Ramond model), while the − gives bosons (Neveu-
**

Schwarz).

**Expanding in modes, we now have, in addition to (7.1.7),
**

∞

Ψ̂(σ) = γ n e−inσ → {γ a m , γ b n } = η ab δ m+n,0 , γ −n = γ n † , (7.2.4)

−∞

where m, n are integral indices for the fermion case and half-(odd)integral for the

bosonic. The assignment of statistics follows from the fact that, while the γ n ’s are

√

creation operators γ n = dn † for n > 0, they are γ matrices γ 0 = γ/ 2 for n = 0

(as in the particle case, but in relation to the usual γ matrices now have Klein

or else the

transformation factors for both dn ’s and, in the BRST case, the ghost C,

dn ’s and C are related to the usual by factors of γ 11 ). However, as in the particle

case, a functional analysis shows that this assignment can only be maintained if the

number of anticommuting modes is even; in other words,

!

d† d

γ 11 (−1) =1 . (7.2.5)

136 7. LIGHT-CONE QUANTUM MECHANICS

**(In terms of the usual γ-matrices, the γ-matrices here also contain the Klein trans-
**

!

d† d

formation factor (−1) . However, in practice it’s more convenient to use the

γ-matrices of (7.2.4-5), which anticommute with all fermionic operators, and equate

them directly to the usual matrices after all fermionic oscillators have been elimi-

nated.) As usual, if γ 0 is represented explicitly as matrices, the hermiticity in (7.2.4)

means pseudohermiticity with respect to the time component γ 0 0 (the indeﬁnite met-

ric of the Hilbert space of a Dirac spinor). However, if γ 0 is instead represented as

operators (as, e.g., creation and annihilation operators, as for the usual operator rep-

resentation of SU(N)⊂SO(2N)), no explicit metric is necessary (being automatically

included in the deﬁnition of hermitian conjugation for the operators).

**The rest is similar to the bosonic formalism, and is straightforward in the 1D
**

superﬁeld formalism. For example,

dσ dσ 1 2 1

H= dθ 12 D̂dD̂ = ( P + 2 iΨ̂ Ψ̂) = 12 (p2 + M 2 ) ,

2π 2π 2

M2 = 2 n(an † · an + dn † · dn ) . (7.2.6a)

n>0

**For the fermionic sector we also have (from (7.2.2))
**

dσ 1

Ψ̂ · P = √ (/

p + M) , 2 = M 2

M . (7.2.6b)

2π 2

(As described above, the d’s anticommute with γ, and thus eﬀectively include an

is thus analogous to the M

implicit factor of γ 11 . M / of (4.5.12).) The fermionic

ground state is massless (especially due to the above chirality condition), but the

bosonic ground state is a tachyon. (The latter can most easily be seen, as for the

bosonic string, by noting that the ﬁrst excited level consists of only a massless vector.)

However, consistent quantum interactions require truncation to the spectrum of the

superstring described in the next section. This means, in addition to the chirality

condition (7.2.5) in the fermionic sector, the restriction in the bosonic sector to even

M 2 [7.3]. (Unlike the fermionic sector, odd M 2 is possible because of the half-integral

mode numbers.) As for the bosonic string, besides determining the ground-state

masses Lorentz invariance also ﬁxes the dimension, now D = 10.

**In the light-cone formulation of the spinning string we have instead of (7.1.14)
**

[7.4]

dσ

J ab = −iX [a P 0 b] + 12 Ψ̂[a Ψ̂b] ,

2π

X̂ + = p+ σ , Ψ̂+ = 0 ; P 2 + iΨ̂ · Ψ̂ = Ψ̂ · P = 0

7.3. Supersymmetric 137

1 2

1

→ P − = −

P i + iΨ̂i Ψ̂i , Ψ̂− = − Ψ̂i P i . (7.2.7)

2p+ p+

The resulting component expansion for the Neveu-Schwarz string is similar to the

non-spinning bosonic string, with extra contributions from the new oscillators. For

the case of the Ramond string, comparing to (2.3.5), we ﬁnd in place of (7.1.15)

M2 = 2 n a† n i ani + d† n i dni ,

M ij = 14 γ [iγ j) + a† n[i anj) + d† n[i dnj) ,

M im M = 1 + 1 γj Σ + Σ j γ +

γ iM a† ni ∆n − ∆† n ani + d† ni Ξn − Ξ† n dni ,

2 2 ji i j

√

= Σi

M , Σij = i 2n d† ni anj − dnia† nj ,

i

1 1 i ) ,

p− = − (pi 2 + M 2 ) , γ− = − (γ pi + M

2p+ p+

1 i

1 i

an− = − p ani − i 12 n i

2 γ dni + ∆n , dn− =− p dni + i n2 γ i ani + Ξn ,

p+ p+

n−1

1

1

∆n = i √ 2 m(n − m) am an−m,i + (m − i n i

2 )dm dm−n,i

n m=1

∞

† n † i

− m(n + m) a m

i

an+m,i + (m + 2 )d m dn+m,i ,

m=1

n−1 ∞ √

√ √

† †

Ξn = i i

m am dn−m,i + n+md m

i

an+m,i − ma m

i

dn+m,i .

m=1 m=1

(7.2.8)

**This algebra can be applied directly to obtain gauge-invariant actions, as was
**

described in sect. 4.5.

7.3. Supersymmetric

**We now obtain the superstring [7.3] as a combined generalization of the bosonic
**

string and the superparticle, which was described in sect. 5.4.

**Although the superstring can be formulated as a truncation of the spinning
**

string, a manifestly supersymmetric formulation is expected to have the usual ad-

vantages that superﬁelds have over components in ordinary ﬁeld theories: simpler

constructions of actions, use of supersymmetric gauges, easier quantum calculations,

no-renormalization theorems which follow directly from analyzing counterterms, etc.

As usual, the free theory can be obtained completely from the covariant derivatives

138 7. LIGHT-CONE QUANTUM MECHANICS

**and equations of motion [7.5]. The covariant derivatives are deﬁned by their aﬃne
**

Lie, or Kač-Moody (or, as applied to strings, “Kač-Kradle”), algebra of the form

1

[G i (σ 1 ), G j (σ 2 )} = δ(σ 2 − σ 1 )f ij k G k (σ 1 ) + iδ (σ 2 − σ 1 )g ij , (7.3.1)

2π

where f are the algebra’s structure constants and g its (not necessarily Cartan) metric

(both constants). The zero-modes of these generators give an ordinary (graded) Lie

algebra with structure constants f . The Jacobi identities are satisﬁed if and only if

f [ij|l f l|k) m = 0 , (7.3.2a)

f i(j| l g l|k] = 0 , (7.3.2b)

**where the ﬁrst equation is the usual Jacobi identity of a Lie algebra and the second
**

states the total (graded) antisymmetry of the structure constants with index lowered

by the metric g. In this case, we wish to generalize {dα , dβ } = 2γ a αβ pa for the

superparticle and [P a (σ 1 ), P b (σ 2 )] = 2πiδ (σ 2 − σ 1 )η ab for the bosonic string. The

simplest generalization consistent with the Jacobi identities is:

{D α (σ 1 ), D β (σ 2 )} = 2πδ(σ 2 − σ 1 )2γ a αβ P a (σ 1 ) ,

[D α (σ 1 ), P a (σ 2 )] = 2πδ(σ 2 − σ 1 )2γ aαβ Ωβ (σ 1 ) ,

{D α (σ 1 ), Ωβ (σ 2 )} = 2πiδ (σ 2 − σ 1 )δ α β ,

[P a (σ 1 ), P b(σ 2 )] = 2πiδ (σ 2 − σ 1 )η ab ,

[P, Ω] = {Ω, Ω} = 0 , (7.3.3a)

γ a(αβ γ a γ)δ = 0 . (7.3.3b)

**(7.3.2b) requires the introduction of the operator Ω, and (7.3.2a) then implies (7.3.3b).
**

This supersymmetric set of modes (as P for the bosonic string) describes a complete

open string or half a closed string, so two such sets are needed for the closed super-

string, while the heterotic string needs one of these plus a purely bosonic set.

Note the analogy with the super-Yang-Mills algebra (5.4.8):

(D α , P a , Ωα ) ↔ (∇α , ∇a , W α ) , (7.3.4)

**and also that the constraint (7.3.3b) occurs on the γ-matrices, which implies D =
**

3, 4, 6, or 10 [7.6] when the maximal Lorentz invariance is assumed (i.e., all of SO(D−1,1)

for the D-vector P a ).

7.3. Supersymmetric 139

**This algebra can be solved in terms of P a , a spinor coordinate Θα (σ), and its
**

derivative δ/δΘα :

δ

Dα = α

+ γ a αβ P a Θβ + 12 iγ a αβ γ aγδ Θβ Θγ Θδ ,

δΘ

Pa = P a + iγ aαβ Θα Θβ ,

Ωα = iΘα . (7.3.5)

**These are invariant under supersymmetry generated by
**

dσ δ

qα = − γ a αβ P a Θβ − 16 iγ a αβ γ aγδ Θβ Θγ Θδ ,

2π δΘα

dσ

pa = Pa , (7.3.6)

2π

where {q α , q β } = −2γ a αβ pa .

The smallest (generalized Virasoro) algebra which includes generalizations of the

operators 12 P 2 of the bosonic string and 12 p2 and p/d of the superparticle is generated

by

δ

A = 12 P 2 + Ωα D α = 12 P 2 + iΘα ,

δΘα

Bα = γ aαβ P a D β ,

C αβ = 12 D [αD β] ,

D a = iγ a αβ D α D β . (7.3.7)

**Note the similarity of A to (5.4.10), (7.2.6a), and (8.1.10,12). The algebra generated
**

by these operators is (classically)

1

[A(1), A(2)] = iδ (2 − 1)[A(1) + A(2)] ,

2π

1

[A(1), Bα (2)] = iδ (2 − 1)[Bα (1) + Bα (2)] ,

2π

1

[A(1), C αβ (2)] = iδ (2 − 1)[C αβ (1) + C αβ (2)] ,

2π

1

[A(1), D a (2)] = iδ (2 − 1)[D a (1) + 2D a (2)] ,

2π

1

{Bα (1), Bβ (2)} = iδ (2 − 1) 12 γ aαγ γ a βδ [C γδ (1) + C γδ (2)] + 4δ(2 − 1)·

2π

· [γ aαβ (P a A + 18 D a ) + (δ γ (α δ δ β) − 12 γ a αβ γ a γδ )Ωγ Bδ ] ,

1 α

[B (1), C βγ (2)] = 4δ(2 − 1)[δ [β α D γ] A + (δ δ δ [β α − 12 γ a α γ a δ[β )Ωδ C γ] ] ,

2π

140 7. LIGHT-CONE QUANTUM MECHANICS

1 α

[B (1), D a (2)] = − 2iδ (2 − 1)[2γ a αβ D β A + (3δ γ γ a αδ − γ abγ γ bαδ )·

2π

· Ωγ C δ ](1) + 2iδ(2 − 1)[4γ a αβ D β A

**+ (3δ γ γ a αδ − γ abγ γ bαδ )Ωγ C δ − iγ aβγ γ bαγ Ωβ D b ] ,
**

1

[C αβ (1), C γδ (2)] = − 2δ(2 − 1)P a γ a [γ[α C β]δ] ,

2π

1

[C αβ (1), D a (2)] = 2iδ (2 − 1)γ a γδ γ bγ[α P b C β]δ (1)

2π

− 4iδ(2 − 1)(γ aγ[α D β] Bγ + P b γ ba[α δ C β]δ ) ,

1

[D a (1), D b (2)] = − δ (2 − 1)γ abα β D β Bα (1) + (2)

2π

+ δ (2 − 1) −4iP (a D b) + η ab (3D α Bα − D α Bα ) (1) − (2)

+ δ(2 − 1) −2i(3P [a D b] − P [a D b] )

+2γ abα β (3D β Bα − D β Bα ) + γ abc αβ (3P c C αβ − P c C αβ ) .

(7.3.8)

**(Due to identities like P/ DD ∼ BD ∼ P/ C, there are other forms of some of these
**

relations.)

**BRST quantization can again be performed, and there are an inﬁnite number of
**

ghosts, as in the particle case. However, a remaining problem is to ﬁnd the appropri-

ate ground state (and corresponding string ﬁeld). Considering the results of sect. 5.4,

this may require modiﬁcation of the generators (7.3.7) and BRST operator, perhaps

to include Lorentz generators (acting on the ends of the string?) or separate contri-

butions from the BRST transformations of Yang-Mills ﬁeld theory (the ground state

of the open superstring, or of a set of modes of one handedness of the corresponding

closed strings). On the other hand, the ground state, rather than being Yang-Mills,

might be purely gauge degrees of freedom, with Yang-Mills appearing at some excited

level, so modiﬁcation would be unnecessary. The condition Q2 = 0 should reproduce

the conditions D = 10, α0 = 1.

**The covariant derivatives and constraints can also be derived from a 2D lagrangian
**

of the general form (3.1.10), as for the superparticle [7.5]. This classical mechanics

Lagrangian imposes weaker constraints than the Green-Schwarz one [7.6] (which sets

D α = 0 via Gupta-Bleuler), and thus should not impose stronger conditions.

**On the other hand, quantization in the light-cone formalism is understood. Spinors
**

are separated into halves, with the corresponding separation of the γ matrices giving

7.3. Supersymmetric 141

**the splitting of vectors into transverse and longitudinal parts, as in (5.4.27). The
**

light-cone gauge is then chosen as

P + (σ) = p+ , Θ− = 0 . (7.3.9)

**Other operators are then eliminated by auxiliary ﬁeld equations:
**

1 1 2 +

A =0 → P− = − 2 P i + iΘ D + ,

p+

1 †

B =0 → D− = √ P/ T D + . (7.3.10)

2p+

**The remaining coordinates are x± , X i (σ), and Θ+ (σ), and the remaining operators
**

are

δ

D+ = +

+ p+ ΣΘ+ , P i = P i , Ω+ = iΘ+ . (7.3.11)

δΘ

However, instead of imposing C = D = 0 quantum mechanically, we can solve them

classically, in analogy to the particle case. The C +ij (σ) are now local (in σ) SO(8)

generators, and can be used to gauge away all but 1 Lorentz component of D + , by

the same method as (5.4.34ab) [5.30,29]. After this, D + is just the product of this

one component times its σ-derivative. Furthermore, D + is a Virasoro algebra for D + ,

and can thus be used to gauge away all but the zero-mode [5.30,29] (as the usual one

A did for P + in (7.3.9)), after this constraint implies D + factors in a way analogous

to (5.4.34a):

D+ = 0 → D + = cξ(σ) . (7.3.12)

**(The proof is identical, since D + = 0 is equivalent to D + (σ 1 )D + (σ 2 ) = 0.) We
**

are thus back to the particle case for D, with a single mode remaining, satisfying

√

the commutation relation c2 = p+ → c = ± p+ , so D is completely determined.

Alternatively, as for the particle, we could consider D = 0 as a second-class constraint

[7.6], or impose the condition D + = 0 (which eliminates all auxiliary string ﬁelds),

as a Gupta-Bleuler constraint. This requires a further splitting of the spinors, as in

(5.4.29), and the Gupta-Bleuler constraint is again a chirality condition, as in (5.4.33).

C = D = 0 are then also satisﬁed ala Gupta-Bleuler (with appropriate “normal

ordering”). Thus, in a “chiral” representation (as in ordinary supersymmetry) we have

a chiral, “on-shell” string superﬁeld, or wave function, Φ[x± , X i(σ), Θa (σ)], which

satisﬁes a light-cone ﬁeld equation

∂

i +H Φ=0 ,

∂x+

142 7. LIGHT-CONE QUANTUM MECHANICS

1 dσ dσ 1 2 δ

H = −p− = − P− = 2P i + iΘ a

. (7.3.13)

α 2π 2π δΘa

The dimension of spacetime D = 10 and the constant in H (zero) are determined by

considerations similar to those of the bosonic case (Lorentz invariance in the light-cone

formalism, or BRST invariance in the yet-to-be-constructed covariant formalism).

**Similarly, light-cone expressions for q α can be obtained from the covariant ones:
**

dσ δ + dσ

q+ = +

− p + ΣΘ ≡ Q+ ,

2π δΘ 2π

dσ 1 †

q− = √ P/ T Q+ . (7.3.14)

2π 2p+

**If the superstring is formulated directly in the light cone, (7.3.14) can be used as the
**

starting point. Q+ and D + can be considered as independent variables (instead of

Θ+ and δ/δΘ+ ), deﬁned by their self-conjugate commutation relations (analogous to

those of P ):

1

{Q+ (σ 1 ), Q+ (σ 2 )} = −δ(σ 2 − σ 1 )2p+ Σ ,

2π

1

{D + (σ 1 ), D + (σ 2 )} = δ(σ 2 − σ 1 )2p+ Σ . (7.3.15)

2π

However, as described above and for the particle, D + is unnecessary for describing

physical polarizations, so we need not introduce it. In order to more closely study

the closure of the algebra (7.3.14), we introduce more light-cone spinor notation (see

sect. 5.3): Working in the Majorana representation Σ = I, we introduce (D − 2)-

dimensional Euclidean γ-matrices as

p/T → γ i µν pi ,

γ (i µµ γ j) νµ = 2δ ij δ µν , γ (i µµ γ j) µν = 2δ ij δ µ ν , (7.3.16)

**where not only vector indices i but also spinor indices µ and µ can be raised and
**

lowered by Kronecker δ’s, and primed and unprimed spinor indices are not necessarily

related. (However, as for the covariant indices, there may be additional relations

satisﬁed by the spinors, irrelevant for the present considerations, that diﬀer in diﬀerent

dimensions.) Closure of the supersymmetry algebra (on the momentum in the usual

way (5.4.4), but in light-cone notation, and with the light-cone expressions for pi , p+ ,

and p− ) then requires the identity (related to (7.3.16) by “triality”)

γ i(µ|µ γ i |ν)ν = 2δ µν δ µ ν . (7.3.17)

7.3. Supersymmetric 143

**This identity is actually (7.3.3b) in light-cone notation, and the equality of the di-
**

mensions of the spinor and vector can be derived by tracing (7.3.17) with δ µν .

**Returning to deriving the light-cone formalism from the covariant one, we can
**

also obtain the light-cone expressions for the Poincaré generators, which should prove

important for covariant quantization, via the OSp(1,1|2) method. As in general, they

are completely speciﬁed by M ij , M im M, and M 2 :

M ij = −iX̂ i P j + Mij ,

M im M = iX̂ i p+ P − + Mi j P j ,

M2 = −2p+ P − , (7.3.18)

where

1 1

−p+ P − = 12 P i 2 + i

Qγ + Q − i D+ ,

8p+ 8p+

1 1

Mij = − Qγ + γ ij Q + C +ij , (7.3.19)

16p+ 16p+

contain all D dependence (as opposed to X and Q dependence) only in the form of

C and D, which can therefore be dropped. (Cf. (5.4.22). γ + picks out Q+ from Q, as

in (5.4.27).)

**We can now consider deriving the BRST algebra by the method of adding 4+4
**

dimensions to the light-cone (sects. 3.6, 5.5). Unfortunately, adding 4+4 dimensions

doesn’t preserve (7.3.17). In fact, from the analysis of sect. 5.3, we see that to pre-

serve the symmetries of the σ-matrices requires increasing the number of commuting

dimensions by a multiple of 8, and the number of time dimensions by a multiple of 4.

This suggests that this formalism may need to be generalized to adding 8+8 dimen-

sions to the light-cone (4 space, 4 time, 8 fermionic). Coincidentally, the light-cone

superstring has 8+8 physical (σ-dependent) coordinates, so this would just double

the number of oscillators. Performing the reduction from OSp(4,4|8) to OSp(2,2|4)

to OSp(1,1|2), if one step is chosen to be U(1)-type and the other GL(1)-type, it may

be possible to obtain an algebra which has the beneﬁts of both formalisms.

**As for the bosonic string, the closed superstring is constructed as the direct
**

product of 2 open strings (1 for the clockwise modes and 1 for the counterclockwise):

The hamiltonian is the sum of 2 open-string ones, and the closed-string ground state

is the product of 2 open-string ones. In the case of type I or IIB closed strings, the

2 sets of modes are the same kind, and the former (the bound-state of type I open

144 7. LIGHT-CONE QUANTUM MECHANICS

**strings) is nonoriented (in order to be consistent with the N = 1 supersymmetry of
**

the open string, rather than the N = 2 supersymmetry generated by the 2 sets of

modes of oriented, type II strings). Type IIA closed strings have Θ’s with the opposite

chirality between the two sets of modes (i.e., one set has a Θα while the other has a

Θα ). The ground states of these closed strings are supergravity (N = 1 supergravity

for type I and N = 2 for type II). The heterotic string is a closed string for which

one set of modes is bosonic (with the usual tachyonic scalar ground state) while the

other is supersymmetric (with the usual supersymmetric Yang-Mills ground state).

The lowest-mass physical states, due to the ∆N = 0 restriction, are the product

of the massless sector of each set (since now ∆N = H (+) − H (−) = (N (+) − 1) −

N (−) ). The dimension of spacetime for the 2 sets of modes is made consistent by

compactiﬁcation of some of the 26 dimensions of one and some (or none) of the 10 of

the other onto a torus, leaving the same number of noncompactiﬁed dimensions (at

least the physical 4) for both sets of modes. These compactiﬁed bosonic modes can

also be fermionized (see the next section), giving an equivalent formulation in which

the extra dimensions don’t explicitly appear: For example, fermionization of 16 of

the dimensions produces 32 (real) fermionic coordinates, giving an SO(32) internal

symmetry (when the fermions are given the same boundary conditions, all periodic or

all antiperiodic). The resulting spectrum for the massless sector of heterotic strings

consists of supergravity coupled to supersymmetric Yang-Mills with N = 1 (in 10D

counting) supersymmetry. The vectors gauging the Cartan subalgebra of the full

Yang-Mills group are the obvious ones coming from the toroidal compactiﬁcation

(i.e., those that would be obtained from the noncompactiﬁed theory by just dropping

dependence on the compactiﬁed coordinates), while the rest correspond to “soliton”

modes of the compactiﬁed coordinates for which the string winds around the torus. As

for the dimension and ground-state mass, quantum consistency restricts the allowed

compactiﬁcations, and in particular the toroidal compactiﬁcations are restricted to

those which, in the case of compactiﬁcation to D = 10, give Yang-Mills group SO(32)

or E8 ⊗E8 . (These groups give anomaly-free 10D theories in their massless sectors.

There is also an SO(16)×SO(16) 10D-compactiﬁcation which can be considered to

have broken N=1 supersymmetry. There are other 10D-compactiﬁcations which have

tachyons.)

**Some aspects of the interacting theory will be described in chapts. 9 and 10.
**

Exercises 145

Exercises

**(1) Use (7.1.7) as the classical solution for X̂ i , and set ani = 0 for n = 1 and i = 1.
**

Find X a (σ, τ ). In the center-of-mass frame, ﬁnd the energy and spin, and relate

them.

**(2) Do (1) in the conformal gauge by using (7.1.7) for X̂ a for a = 0, 1 (same n), and
**

applying the constraint (6.2.5). Compare results.

**(3) Prove the light-cone Poincaré algebra closes only for D = 26, and determines the
**

constant in (7.1.8a).

**(4) Find explicit expressions for all the states at the 4 lowest mass levels of the open
**

bosonic string. For the massive levels, combine SO(D−2) representations into

SO(D−1) ones. Do the same for the 4 lowest (nontrivial) mass levels of the

closed string.

**(5) Derive (7.1.15), including the expressions in terms of σ-integrals. What happens
**

to the part of this integral symmetric in ij for M ij ?

(6) Derive (7.2.8).

**(7) Derive (7.3.17), both from (7.3.3b) and closure of (7.3.14). Show that it implies
**

D − 2 = 1, 2, 4, 8.

**(8) Show that (7.3.5) satisﬁes (7.3.3). Show that (7.3.6) gives a supersymmetry
**

algebra, and that the operators of (7.3.5) are invariant. Check (7.3.8) till you

drop.

**(9) Find all the states in the spinning string at the tachyonic, massless, and ﬁrst
**

massive levels. Show that, using the truncation of sect. 7.2, there are equal

numbers of bosons and fermions at each level. Construct the same states using

the X and Q oscillators of sect. 7.3.

146 8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

8.1. IGL(1)

**We ﬁrst describe the form of the BRST algebra obtained by ﬁrst-quantization
**

of the bosonic string by the method of sect. 3.2, using the constraints found in the

conformal (temporal) gauge in sect. 6.2.

**The residual gauge invariance in the covariant gauge is conformal transformations
**

(modiﬁed by the constraint that they preserve the position of the boundaries). After

quantization in the Schrödinger picture (where the coordinates have no τ dependence),

the Virasoro operators [8.1]

1 2

G(σ) = −i 2 P (σ) −1 , (8.1.1)

**with P as in (7.1.3) but for all Lorentz components, generate only these transfor-
**

mations (instead of the complete set of 2D general coordinate transformations they

generated when left as arbitrary oﬀ-shell functions of σ and τ in the classical mechan-

ics). Using the hamiltonian form of BRST quantization, we ﬁrst ﬁnd the classical

commutation relations (Poisson brackets, neglecting the normal-ordering constant in

(8.1.1))

[G(σ 1 ), G(σ 2 )] = 2πδ (σ 2 − σ 1 )[G(σ 1 ) + G(σ 2 )]

= 2π [δ(σ 2 − σ 1 )G (σ 2 ) + 2δ (σ 2 − σ 1 )G(σ 2 )] , (8.1.2a)

**or in mode form
**

iG(σ) = Ln e−inσ →

[Lm , Ln ] = (n − m)Lm+n . (8.1.2b)

**These commutation relations, rewritten as
**

dσ 1 dσ 2 dσ

λ1 (σ 1 )G(σ 1 ), λ2 (σ 2 )G(σ 2 ) = λ[2 (σ)λ1] (σ)G(σ) , (8.1.3a)

2π 2π 2π

8.1. IGL(1) 147

**correspond to the 1D general coordinate transformations (in “zeroth-quantized” no-
**

tation)

∂ ∂ ∂

λ2 (σ) , λ1 (σ) = λ[2 λ1] , (8.1.3b)

∂σ ∂σ ∂σ

giving the structure constants

f (σ 1 , σ 2 ; σ 3 ) = 2πδ (σ 2 − σ 1 ) [δ(σ 1 − σ 3 ) + δ(σ 2 − σ 3 )] , (8.1.4a)

or

←

→

∂

λ1 λ2 f ij j

↔ λ1 λ2 .

i k

(8.1.4b)

∂σ

More generally, we have operators whose commutation relations

[G(σ 1 ), O(σ 2 )] = 2π [δ(σ 2 − σ 1 )O (σ 2 ) + wδ (σ 2 − σ 1 )O(σ 2 )] (8.1.5a)

**represent the transformation properties of a 1D tensor of (covariant) rank w, or a
**

scalar density of weight w:

λG, O = λO + wλO . (8.1.5b)

**Equivalently, in terms of 2D conformal transformations, it has scale weight w. (Re-
**

member that conformal transformations in D = 2 are equivalent to 1D general co-

ordinate transformations on σ ± : See (6.2.7).) In particular, we see from (8.1.2a)

that G itself is a 2nd-rank-covariant (as opposed to contravariant) tensor: It is the

energy-momentum tensor of the mechanics action. (It was derived by varying that

action with respect to the metric.) The ﬁnite form of these transformations follows

from exponentiating the Lie algebra represented in (8.1.3): (8.1.5) can then also be

rewritten as the usual coordinate transformations

w

∂σ

O (σ ) = O(σ) , (8.1.6a)

∂σ

where the primes here stand for the transformed quantities (not σ-derivatives) or as

(dσ )w O (σ ) = (dσ)w O(σ) , (8.1.6b)

**indicating their tensor structure. In particular, a covariant vector (w = 1) can be
**

integrated to give an invariant. P is such a vector (and the momentum p the corre-

sponding conformal invariant), which is why G has twice its weight (by (8.1.1)).

**Before performing the BRST quantization of this algebra, we relate it to the
**

light-cone quantization of the previous chapter. The constraints (8.1.1) can be solved

148 8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

**in a Gupta-Bleuler fashion in light-cone notation. The diﬀerence between that and
**

actual light-cone quantization is that in the light-cone quantization P − is totally

eliminated at the classical level, whereas in the light-cone notation for the covariant-

gauge quantization the constraint is used to determine the dependence on the ±

oscillators in terms of the transverse oscillators. One way to do this would be to start

with a state constructed from just transverse oscillators (as in light-cone quantization)

and add in terms involving longitudinal oscillators until the constraints are satisﬁed

(or actually half of them, ala Gupta-Bleuler). A simpler way is to start at the classical

level in an arbitrary conformal gauge with transverse oscillators, and then conformally

transform them to the light-cone gauge to see what a transverse oscillator (in the

physical sense, not the light-cone-index sense) looks like. We thus wish to consider

dσ P i (σ ) = dσ P i (σ) ,

1

σ = X̂ + (σ) = σ + oscillator-terms . (8.1.7)

p+

(Without loss of generality, we can work at x+ = 0. Equivalently, we can explicitly

subtract x+ from X̂ + everywhere the latter appears in this derivation.) If we consider

the same transformation on P + (using ∂ X̂/∂σ ≡ P ), we ﬁnd P + = p+ , the light-cone

gauge. (8.1.7) can be rewritten as

1

P (σ 1 ) = dσ 2 δ σ 1 − X̂ + (σ 2 ) P (σ 2 ) . (8.1.8)

p+

(8.1.7) follows upon replacing σ 1 with σ 1 and integrating out the δ-function (with

the Jacobian giving the conformal weight factor). A more convenient form for quan-

tization comes from the mode expansion: Multiplying by einσ1 and integrating,

dσ inX̂ + (σ)/p+

αn = e P (σ) . (8.1.9)

2π

These (“DDF”) operators [8.2] (with normal ordering, as usual, upon quantization,

and with transverse Lorentz index i, and n > 0) can be used to create all physi-

cal states. Due to their deﬁnition in terms of a conformal transformation from an

arbitrary conformal gauge to a completely ﬁxed (light-cone) gauge, they are auto-

matically conformally invariant: i.e., they commute with G. (This can be veriﬁed to

remain true after quantization.) Consequently, states constructed from them satisfy

the Gupta-Bleuler constraints, since the conformal generators push past these opera-

tors to hit the vacuum. Thus, these operators allow the construction of the physical

Hilbert space within the formalism of covariant-gauge quantization, and allow a direct

comparison with light-cone quantization.

8.1. IGL(1) 149

**On the other hand, for most purposes it is more convenient to solve the constraints
**

as covariantly as possible (which is we why we are working with covariant-gauge

quantization in the ﬁrst place). The next step is the IGL(1) algebra [3.4]

dσ 1 2 δ dσ

Q= C −i 2 P + C + i ∝ 0 ≡ −i CA ,

2π δC 2π

dσ δ

J3 = C . (8.1.10)

2π δ C

Expanding in the ghost zero-mode

dσ

c= C (8.1.11)

2π

we also ﬁnd (see (3.4.3b))

2

p +M =2 2

A , +

M = −i C C . (8.1.12)

**∝ 0 (the intercept of the leading Regge trajectory) is a constant introduced, as in
**

the light-cone formalism, because of implicit normal ordering. The only ambiguous

constant in J 3 is an overall one, which we choose to absorb into the zero-mode term so

that it appears as c∂/∂c, so that physical ﬁelds have vanishing ghost number. (This

also makes J 3† = 1 − J 3 .) In analogy to the particle, C is a momentum (deﬁned to

be periodic on σ ∈ [−π, π]), as follows from consideration of τ reversal in the classical

mechanics action, but here τ reversal is accompanied by σ reversal in order to avoid

switching + and − modes. (In the classical action the ghost is odd under such a

transformation, since it carries a 2D vector index, as does the gauge parameter, while

the antighost is even, carrying 2 indices, as does the gauge-ﬁxing function gmn .) C can

also be separated into odd and even parts, which is useful when similarly separating

P as in (7.1.3a):

C = C + C , C(−σ) = C(σ) ,

C(−σ)

= −C(σ) . (8.1.13)

**We now pay attention to the quantum eﬀects. Rather than examining the BRST
**

algebra, we look at the IGL(1)-invariant Virasoro operators (from (3.2.13))

δ δ

Ĝ = G + C

+ C + i(∝ 0 − 1) . (8.1.14)

δC δC

(The ∝ 0 − 1 just replaces the 1 in (8.1.1) with ∝ 0 .) Corresponding to (8.1.2b),

we now have the exact quantum mechanical commutation relations (after normal

ordering)

D − 26 3

[L̂m , L̂n ] = (n − m)L̂m+n + (m − m) + 2(∝ 0 − 1)m δ m,−n . (8.1.15)

12

150 8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

**The terms linear in m in the anomalous terms (those not appearing in the classical
**

result (8.1.2)) are trivial, and can be arbitrarily modiﬁed by adding a constant to L̂0 .

That the remaining term is ∼ m3 follows from (1D) dimensional analysis: [Ĝ, Ĝ] ∼

δ Ĝ + δ , since the ﬁrst term implies Ĝ ∼ 1/σ 2 dimensionally, so only δ ∼ 1/σ 4

can be used. The values of the coeﬃcients in these terms can also be determined

by evaluating just the vacuum matrix elements 0| [L̂−n , L̂n ] |0

for n = 1, 2. Further

examining these terms, we see that the ghost contributions are necessary to cancel

those from the physical coordinates (which have coeﬃcient D), and do so only for

D = 26. The remaining anomaly cancels for ∝ 0 = 1. Under the same conditions one

can show that Q2 = 0. Thus, in the covariant formalism, where Lorentz covariance is

manifest and not unitarity (the opposite of the light-cone formalism), Q2 = 0 is the

analog of the light cone’s [J −i , J −j ] = 0 (and the calculation is almost identical, so the

reader will have little trouble modifying his previous calculation). C and δ/δ C can be

expanded in zero-modes and creation and annihilation operators, as P ((7.1.7a)), but

the creation operators in C are canonically conjugate to the annihilation operators in

and vice versa:

δ/δ C,

∞

1

C = c + √ (cn † e−inσ + cn einσ ) ,

1 n

∞ √

δ ∂

= + n(−ic̃n † e−inσ + ic̃n einσ ) ;

δ C ∂c 1

**{cm , c̃n † } = iδ mn , {c̃m , cn † } = −iδ mn . (8.1.16)
**

(Since the IGL(1) formalism is directly related to the OSp(1,1|2), as in sect. 4.2, we

have normalized the oscillators in a way that will make the Sp(2) symmetry manifest

in the next section.) The physical states are obtained by hitting |0

with a† ’s but also

requiring Q |ψ

= 0; states |ψ

= Q |χ

are null states (pure gauge). The condition

of being annihilated by Q is equivalent to being annihilated by Ln for n ≤ 0 (i.e.,

the “nonpositive energy” part of G(σ), which is now normal ordered and includes the

− ∝ 0 term of (8.1.10,14)), which is just the constraint in Gupta-Bleuler quantization.

L0 is simply the Lorentz-covariantization of H of (7.1.8) (i.e., all transverse indices

replaced with Lorentz indices).

An interesting fact about the Virasoro algebra (8.1.15) (and its generalizations,

see below) is that, after an appropriate shift in L0 (namely, the choice of ∝ 0 = 1 in

this case), the anomaly does not appear in the Sp(2) (=SL(2)=SU(1,1)=SO(2,1)=

projective group) subalgebra given by n = 0, ±1 [8.3], independent of the represen-

tation (in this case, D). Furthermore, unlike the whole Virasoro algebra (even when

8.1. IGL(1) 151

**the anomaly cancels), we can deﬁne a state which is left invariant by this Sp(2).
**

Expanding (8.1.14) in modes (as in (7.1.7a, 8.1.2b)), the only term in L̂1 containing

no annihilation operators is ∼ p · a1 † , so we choose p = 0. Then L̂0 = 0 requires the

state be on-shell, which means it’s in the usual massless sector (Yang-Mills). Further

examination then shows that this state is uniquely determined to be the state corre-

sponding to a constant (p = 0) Yang-Mills ghost ﬁeld C. It can also be shown that

this is the only gauge-invariant, BRST-invariant state (i.e., in the “cohomology” of

Q) of that ghost-number J 3 [8.4]. Since it has the same ghost number as the gauge

parameter Λ (see (4.2.1)), this means that it can be identiﬁed as the only gauge in-

variance of the theory which has no inhomogeneous term: Any gauge parameter of

the form Λ = Q

not only leaves the free action invariant, but also the interacting one,

since upon gauge ﬁxing it’s a gauge invariance of the ghosts (which means the ghosts

themselves require ghosts), which must be maintained at the interacting level for

consistent quantization. However, any parameter satisfying QΛ = 0 won’t contribute

to the free gauge transformation of the physical ﬁelds, but may contribute at the

interacting level. In fact, gauge transformations in the cohomology of Q are just the

global invariances of the theory, or at least those which preserve the second-quantized

vacuum about which the decomposition into free and interacting has been deﬁned.

Since the BRST transformation δΦ = QΦ is just the gauge transformation with the

gauge parameter replaced by the ghost, this transformation parameter appears in the

ﬁeld in the same position as would the corresponding ghost. For the bosonic string,

the only massless physical ﬁeld is Yang-Mills, and thus the only global invariance is

the usual global nonabelian symmetry. Thus, the state invariant under this Sp(2) di-

rectly corresponds to the global invariance of the string theory, and to its ghost. This

Sp(2) symmetry can be maintained at the interacting level in tree graph calculations

(see sect. 9.2), especially for vertices, basically due to the fact that tree graphs have

the same global topology as free strings. In such calculations it’s therefore somewhat

more convenient to expand states about this Sp(2)-invariant “vacuum” instead of the

usual one. (We now refer to the ﬁrst-quantized vacuum with respect to which free

ﬁelds are deﬁned. It’s redeﬁnition is unrelated to the usual vacuum redeﬁnitions of

ﬁeld theory, which are inhomogeneous in the ﬁelds.) This eﬀectively switches the role

of the corresponding pair of ghost oscillators (just the n = 1 mode) between creation

and annihilation operators.

**The closed string [4.5] is quantized similarly, but with 2 sets of modes (±; except
**

152 8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

that there are still just one x and p), and we can separate

C ± (σ) = (C ± C)(±σ)

(8.1.17)

corresponding to (7.1.6).

**Since A commutes with both M 3 and M + , it is Sp(2)-invariant. Thus, the mod-
**

iﬁed Virasoro operators Ľn it gives (in analogy to (8.1.2b), or, more speciﬁcally, the

nonnegative-energy ones), and in particular their fermionic parts, can be used to

generate (BRST) Sp(2)-invariant states, with the exception of the zeroth and ﬁrst

fermionic Virasoro operators (the projective subgroup), which vanish on the vacuum.

We will now show that these operators, together with the bosonic oscillators, are

suﬃcient to generate all such states, i.e., the complete set of physical ﬁelds [4.1]. (By

physical ﬁelds we mean all ﬁelds appearing in the gauge-invariant action, including

Stueckelberg ﬁelds and unphysical Lorentz components.) This is seen by bosonizing

the two fermionic coordinates into a single additional bosonic coordinate, whose con-

tribution to the Virasoro operators includes a term linear in the new oscillators, but

lacking the ﬁrst mode. This corresponds to the fact that M + contains a term linear

in the annihilation operator of the ﬁrst mode. Thus, the Virasoro operators generate

excitations in all but the ﬁrst mode of the new coordinate, and the condition M + = 0

kills only excitations in the ﬁrst mode. J 3 is just the zero mode of the new coordinate,

so its vanishing (which then implies T = 0) completes the derivation.

**The bosonization is essentially the same as the standard procedure [8.5], except
**

for diﬀerences due to the indeﬁnite metric of the Hilbert space of the ghosts. The

fermionic coordinates can be expressed in terms of a bosonic coordinate χ̂ (analogous

to X̂) as

δ

C = eχ̂

= e−χ̂ ,

, (8.1.18)

δC

with our usual implicit normal ordering (with both terms q̂ + p̂σ of the zero mode

appearing in the same exponential factor). Note the hermiticity of these fermionic

coordinates, due to the lack of i’s in the exponents. (For physical bosons and fermions,

we would use ψ̂ = eiϕ̂ , ψ̂ † = e−iϕ̂ , with ψ̂ canonically conjugate to ψ̂ † .) χ̂ has the

mode expansion

∞

1

χ̂ = (q̂ + p̂σ) + √ (ân einσ + â† n e−inσ ) ;

n=1 n

[p̂, q̂] = −i , [âm , â† n ] = −δ mn . (8.1.19)

8.1. IGL(1) 153

**By comparison with (7.1.7), we see that this coordinate has a timelike metric (i.e.,
**

it’s a ghost). Using

ab

: eaχ̂(σ) : : ebχ̂(σ ) : = : eaχ̂(σ)+bχ̂(σ ) : 2i sin σ 2−σ +

, (8.1.20)

**we can verify the fermionic anticommutation relations, as well as
**

3 1 + dσ 2χ̂

J = ip̂ + 2 , M = e ; (8.1.21a)

2π

A= 1

2 P 2 − χ̂2 − χ̂ − 9

4 . (8.1.21b)

**Since J 3 is quantized in integral values, χ is deﬁned to exist on a circle of imaginary
**

length with anticyclic boundary conditions. (The imaginary eigenvalues of this hermi-

tian operator are due to the indeﬁniteness induced by the ghosts into the Hilbert-space

metric.) Conversely, choosing such values for ip̂ makes C periodic in σ. The SU(2)

which follows from J 3 and M + is not the usual one constructed in bosonization [8.6]

because of the extra factors and inverses of ∂/∂σ involved (see the next section).

**Since we project onto p̂ = i 12 when acting on Φ, we ﬁnd for the parts of M + and
**

A linear in χ oscillators when acting on Φ

√

M + = e2q̂ 2â1 + · · · , Ľn = 1

2 n(n − 1)â† n + · · · . (8.1.22)

**This shows how the constraint T = 0 essentially just eliminates the zeroth and ﬁrst
**

oscillators of χ.

**We have seen some examples above of Virasoro operators deﬁned as expressions
**

quadratic in functions of σ (and their functional derivatives). More generally, we

can consider a bosonic (periodic) function fˆ(σ) with arbitrary weight w. In order to

obtain the transformation law (8.1.5), we must have

δ δ

G(σ) = fˆ − w fˆ , (8.1.23a)

δfˆ δ fˆ

up to an overall normal-ordering constant (which we drop). By manipulations like

those above, we ﬁnd

[Lm , Ln ] = (n − m)Lm+n + (w − 12 )2 − 1

12 m3 − 16 m δ m,−n . (8.1.23b)

**Since fˆ and δ/δ fˆ (or fˆ and −δ/δ fˆ ) have the same commutation relations as two P ’s,
**

but with oﬀ-diagonal metric η ab = ( 01 10 ), for w = 0 (or w = 1) the algebra (8.1.23)

must give just twice the contribution to the anomaly as a single P . This agrees exactly

154 8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

**ˆ the anomalous terms in (8.1.23) have the
**

with (8.1.15) (the D term). For fermionic f,

opposite overall sign. In that case, fˆ and δ/δ fˆ have the anticommutation relations

1

of 2 physical fermions (see sect. 7.2), again with the oﬀ-diagonal metric, and w = 2

gives the Virasoro operators for 2 physical fermions (i.e., as in the above bosonic

case, G can be rewritten as the sum of 2 independent G’s). The anomaly for a single

physical fermion in thus given by half of that in (8.1.23b), with opposite sign. Another

interesting case is w = −1 (or 2), which, for fermions, gives the ghost contribution

of (8.1.15) (the non-D terms, for ∝ 0 = 0; comparing (8.1.14) with (8.1.23a), we see

C has w = −1 and thus δ/δ C has w = 2). Thus, (8.1.23) is suﬃcient to give all the

Virasoro algebras which are homogeneous of second order in 1D functions. By the

method of bosonization (8.1.18), the fermionic case of (8.1.23a) can be rewritten as

1 2

G=i 2P + ( 12 − w)P + 1

8 , (8.1.23c)

**where fˆ = exp χ̂ in terms of a timelike coordinate χ (P = χ̂ ). For w = 12 , this
**

gives an independent demonstration that 2 physical fermions give the same anomaly

as 1 physical boson (modulo the normal-ordering constant), since they are physically

equivalent (up to the boundary conditions on the zero-modes). (There are also factors

of i that need to be inserted in various places to distinguish physical bosons and

fermions from ghost ones, but these don’t aﬀect the value of the anomaly.)

**As before, these Virasoro operators correspond to 2D energy-momentum tensors
**

obtained by varying an action with respect to the 2D metric. Using the vielbein

formalism of sect. 4.1, we ﬁrst note that the Lorentz group has only one generator,

which acts very simply on the light-cone components of a covariant tensor:

M ab =

ab M (

+− = 1) → [M, ψ (s) ] = sψ (s) , (8.1.24)

**where for tensors s is the number of “+” indices minus “−” indices. However, since
**

the 2D Lorentz group is abelian, this generalizes to arbitrary “spin,” half-integral as

well as irrational. The covariant derivative can then be written as

∇a = ea + ω a M ,

ω a = 12

cb ω abc = 12

cb cbca = −

ab e∂ m e−1 ebm . (8.1.25)

**We also have the only nonvanishing component of the curvature Rabcd given by
**

(4.1.31):

e−1 R =

mn ∂ n ω m = ∂ m eam ∂ n (e−1 ea n ) . (8.1.26)

8.1. IGL(1) 155

**The covariant action corresponding to (8.1.23a) is
**

S∼ d2 x e−1 (ψ (+) 1−w ∇− ψ (+) w + ψ (−) 1−w ∇+ ψ (−) w ) ,

[M, ψ (±) w ] = ±wψ (±) w , (8.1.27)

**where ψ (±) w corresponds to fˆ and ψ (±) 1−w to δ/δ f.
**

ˆ For open-string boundary con-

ditions, ψ (±) w are combined to form fˆ (as, for w = 1, P ± combined to form P in

(7.1.3a)); for closed strings, the 2 functions can be used independently (as the usual

(±) modes for closed strings). We thus see that the spin is related to the weight (at

least for these free, classical ﬁelds) as s = ±w for ψ (±) w . The action corresponding

to (8.1.23c) (neglecting the normal-ordering constant) is [8.7]

S∼ d2 x e−1 1

2χ 2 χ + (w − 12 )Rχ . (8.1.28a)

**(We have dropped some surface terms, as in (4.1.36).) The fact that (8.1.28a) repre-
**

sents a particle with spin can be seen in (at least) 2 ways. One way is to perform a

duality transformation [8.8]: (8.1.28a) can be written in ﬁrst-order form as

S∼ d2 x e−1 1

2 (F a )

2

+ F a ∇a χ + (w − 12 )Rχ . (8.1.28b)

**(Note that ∇χ is the ﬁeld strength for χ under the global invariance χ → χ + constant.
**

In that respect, the last term in (8.1.28b) is like a “Chern-Simons” term, since it can

only be written as the product of 1 ﬁeld with 1 ﬁeld strength, in terms of the ﬁelds

ω a and χ and their ﬁeld strengths R and ∇a χ.) Eliminating F by its equation of

motion gives back (8.1.28a), while eliminating χ gives

S∼ d2 x e−1 12 (Ga )2 ,

1

Ga = −

ab ∇b φ , [M, φ] = w − 2 . (8.1.28c)

**(Actually, since (8.1.28a) and (8.1.28c) are equivalent on shell, we could equally well
**

have started with (8.1.28c) and avoided this discussion of duality transformations.

However, (8.1.28a) is a little more conventional-looking, and the one that more com-

monly appears in the literature.) The unusual Lorentz transformation law of φ follows

from the fact that it’s the logarithm of a tensor:

[M, eφ ] = (w − 12 )eφ , [M, e−φ ] = ( 12 − w)e−φ . (8.1.29)

1

This is analogous to (8.1.18), but the weights there are increased by 2 by quantum

eﬀects. (More examples of this eﬀect will be discussed in sect. 9.1.)

156 8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

**Another way to see that χ has an eﬀective Lorentz weight w is to look at the
**

relationship between Lorentz weights and weights under 2D general coordinate trans-

formations (or 1D, or 2D conformal transformations), as in (8.1.5). This follows

from the fact that conformally invariant theories, when coupled to gravity, become

locally scale invariant theories (even without introducing the scale compensator φ

of (4.1.34)). (Conversely, conformal transformations can be deﬁned as the subgroup

of general coordinate + local scale transformations which leaves the vacuum invari-

ant.) This means that we can gauge-transform e to 1, or, equivalently, redeﬁne the

nongravitational ﬁelds to cancel all dependence on e. Then ea m appears only in the

unit-determinant combination ea m = e−1/2 ea m . The weights w then appear in the

scale transformation which leaves (8.1.27) invariant:

ψ w = ewζ ψ w . (8.1.30)

**(This has the same form as a local Lorentz transformation, but with diﬀerent relative
**

signs for the ﬁelds in the (±) terms of (8.1.27). This is related to the fact that, upon

applying the equations of motion, and in the conformal gauge, the 2 sets of ﬁelds de-

pend respectively on τ ∓σ, and therefore have independent conformal transformations

on these ± coordinates, except as related by boundary conditions for the open string.)

Choosing eζ = e−1/2 then replaces the ψ’s with ﬁelds which are scale-invariant, but

transform under general coordinate transformations as densities of weight w (i.e., as

tensors times e−w/2 ). In the conformal gauge, these densities satisfy the usual free

(from gravity) ﬁeld equations, since the vielbein has been eliminated (the determi-

nant by redeﬁnition, the rest by choice of general coordinate gauge). Similar remarks

apply to (8.1.28), but it’s not scale invariant. To isolate the scale noninvariance of

that action, rather than make the above scale transformation, we make a nonlocal

redeﬁnition of χ in (8.1.28a) which reduces to the above type of scale transformation

in the conformal gauge ea m = δ a m :

1

χ → χ − (w − 12 ) R . (8.1.31)

2

In the conformal gauge, R = − 12 2 ln e. (Remember: χ is like the logarithm of a

tensor.) Under this redeﬁnition, the action becomes

1

S→ d2 x e−1 1

2 χ − 12 (w − 12 )2 R

2χ R . (8.1.32)

2

(Note that χ now satisﬁes the usual scalar ﬁeld equation.) The redeﬁned ﬁeld is now

scale invariant, and the scale noninvariance can now be attributed to the second term,

8.2. OSp(1,1|2) 157

**which is the same kind of term responsible for the conformal (Virasoro) anomalies at
**

the quantum level (i.e., the 1-loop contribution to the 2D ﬁeld theory in a background

gravitational ﬁeld). In fact, the conformally invariant action (4.1.39), with a factor

proportional to 1/(D − 2), is the dimensionally regularized expression responsible for

the anomaly: Although (4.1.39) is conformally invariant in arbitrary D, subtraction

of the divergent (i.e., with a coeﬃcient 1/(D − 2)) R term, which is conformally

invariant only in D = 2 (as follows from considering the D → 2 limit of (4.1.39)

without multiplying by 1/(D − 2)), leaves a renormalized (ﬁnite) action which, in the

limit D → 2, is just the second term of (8.1.32). Thus, the second term in (8.1.32)

contributes classically to the anomaly of (8.1.23b), the remaining contribution being

the usual quantum contribution of the scalar. (On the other hand, in the fermionic

theory from which (8.1.28) can be derived by quantum mechanical bosonization, all

of the anomaly is quantum mechanical.)

**D < 26 can also be quantized (at least at the tree level), but there is an anomaly
**

in 2D local scale invariance which causes det(g mn ) to reappear at the quantum level

[8.9] (or, in the light-cone formalism, an extra “longitudinal” Lorentz component of

X [1.3,4]); however, there are complications at the one-loop level which have not yet

been resolved.

**Presently the covariant formulation of string interactions is understood only
**

within the IGL(1) formalism (although in principle it’s straightforward to obtain

the OSp(1,1|2) formalism by eliminating the auxiliary ﬁelds, as in sect. 4.2). These

interactions will be discussed in sect. 12.2.

8.2. OSp(1,1|2)

**We next use the light-cone Poincaré algebra of the string, obtained in sect. 7.1, to
**

derive the OSp(1,1|2) formulation as in sect. 3.4, which can be used to ﬁnd the gauge-

invariant action. We then relate this to the ﬁrst-quantized IGL(1) of the previous

section by the methods of sect. 4.2. This OSp(1,1|2) formalism can also be derived

from ﬁrst quantization simply by treating the zero-mode of g as g for the particle

(sect. 5.1), and the other modes of the metric as in the conformal gauge (sect. 6.2).

**All operators come directly from the light-cone expressions of sect. 7.1, using
**

the dimensional extension of sect. 2.6, as described in the general case in sect. 3.4.

In particular, to evaluate the action and its gauge invariance in the form (4.1.6),

we’ll need the expressions for M αβ , M 2 , and Qα = M α a pa + M αm M given by using

158 8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

i = (a, α) in (7.1.14,15). Thus,

M αβ = −i X̂ α P β = a† n(α anβ) ,

n

M αa = −i X̂ α P a = a† n[α ana] ,

n

M = 2

(P i 2 − 2) = 2 na† n i ani − 1 = 2(N − 1) ,

M αm M = −i 12 X̂ α P j 2 = a† nα ∆n − ∆† n anα ,

n−1 ∞

1

1 †

∆n = i √ 2 m(n − m)am an−m,i − i

m(n + m)a m

i

an+m,i , (8.2.1)

n m=1 m=1

where again the i summation is over both a and α, representing modes coming from

both the physical X a (σ) (with xa identiﬁed as the usual spacetime coordinate) and

the ghost modes X α (σ) (with xα the ghost coordinates of sect. 3.4), as in the mode

expansion (7.1.7).

To understand the relation of the ﬁrst-quantized BRST quantization [4.4,5] to

that derived from the light cone (and from the OSp(1,1|2)), we show the Sp(2) sym-

metry of the ghost coordinates. We ﬁrst combine all the ghost oscillators into an

“isospinor” [4.1]:

1 δ

Cα = C , . (8.2.2)

∂/∂σ δC

This isospinor directly corresponds (except for lack of zero modes) to X̂ α of the

OSp(1,1|2) formalism from the light cone: We identify

X̂ α = (xα + pα σ) + C α , (8.2.3)

**and we can thus directly construct objects which are manifestly covariant under the
**

Sp(2) of M αβ . The periodic inverse derivative in (8.2.2) is deﬁned in terms of the

saw-tooth function

1 1

f (σ) = dσ 12

(σ − σ ) − (σ − σ ) f (σ ) ,

(8.2.4)

∂/∂σ π

where

(σ) = ±1 for ±σ > 0. The product of the derivative with this inverse

derivative, in either order, is simply the projection operator which subtracts out

the zero mode. (For example, C + is just C minus its zero mode.) Along with P a ,

this completes the identiﬁcation of the nonzero-modes of the two formalisms. We can

then rewrite the other relevant operators (8.1.10,12) in terms of C α :

2 2 dσ 2

p +M = (P a + C α C α − 2) ,

2π

8.2. OSp(1,1|2) 159

dσ

Qα = −i 12 C α (P a 2 + C α C α − 2) ,

2π

dσ

M αβ = −i 12 C (α C β) . (8.2.5)

2π

**Again, all deﬁnitions include normal ordering. This ﬁrst-quantized IGL(1) can then
**

be seen to agree with that derived from OSp(1,1|2) in (8.2.1) by expanding in zero-

modes.

**For the closed string, the OSp(1,1|2) algebra is extended to an IOSp(1,1|2) algebra
**

following the construction of (7.1.17): As for the open-string case, the D-dimensional

indices of the light-cone formalism are extended to (D+4)-dimensional indices, but

just the values A = (±, α) are kept for the BRST algebra. To obtain the analog of

the IGL(1) formalism, we perform the transformation (3.4.3a) for both left and right-

handed modes. The extension of IGL(1) to GL(1|1) analogous to that of OSp(1,1|2)

to IOSp(1,1|2) uses the subalgebras (Q, J 3 , p− , pc̃ = ∂/∂c) of the IOSp(1,1|2)’s of each

set of open-string operators. After dropping the terms containing ∂/∂c̃, x− drops out,

and we can set p+ = 1 to obtain:

∂

Q → − ic 12 (pa 2 + M 2 ) + M + i + Q+ ,

∂c

∂

J3 → c + M3 ,

∂c

p− → − 12 (pa 2 + M 2 ) ,

∂

pc̃ → . (8.2.6)

∂c

**These generators have the same algebra as N=2 supersymmetry in one dimension,
**

with Q and pc̃ corresponding to the two supersymmetry generators (actually the

complex combination and its complex conjugate), J 3 to the O(2) generator which

scales them, and p− the 1D momentum. The closed-string algebra GL(1|1) is then

constructed in analogy to the IOSp(1,1|2), taking sums for the J’s and diﬀerences for

the p’s.

**The application of this algebra to obtaining the gauge-invariant action will be
**

discussed in chapt. 11.

160 8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

8.3. Lorentz gauge

We will next consider the OSp(1,1|2) algebra which corresponds to ﬁrst-quantization

in the Lorentz gauge [3.7], as obtained by the methods of sect. 3.3 when applied to

the Virasoro algebra of constraints.

From (3.3.2), for the OSp(1,1|2) algebra we have

dσ δ δ δ

Q = −i

α

C α ( 12 P 2 − 1) + 12 C (α C β) i β − Bi + 12 (C α B − C α B)i

2π δC δC α δB

δ

+ 14 C β (C β C α ) i . (8.3.1)

δB

**B is conjugate to the time-components of the gauge ﬁeld, which in this case means
**

the components g00 and g01 of the unit-determinant part of the world-sheet metric

(see chapt. 6). This expression can be simpliﬁed by the unitary transformation Qα →

UQα U −1 with

δ

ln U = − 12 ( 12 C α C α ) . (8.3.2)

δB

We then have the OSp(1,1|2) (from (3.3.7)):

δ δ δ

J −α = Cα −i 12 P 2 +i+C β

+ Bβ

−B ,

δC δB δC α

δ δ

J αβ = C (α β) , J +α = 2 Cα ,

δC δB

δ δ

J −+ = 2B + Cα α . (8.3.3)

δB δC

**A gauge-ﬁxed kinetic operator for string ﬁeld theory which is invariant under the
**

full OSp(1,1|2) can be derived,

δ 1 2 δ δ

K= 1

2

α

J − , J −α , i = 2P − 1 + C α i α

+ Bi = 12 (p2 + M 2 ) ,

δB δC δB

(8.3.4)

as the zero-mode of the generators G(σ) from (3.3.10):

δ

G(σ) = − 12 J− α

, J −α ,

δB

δ δ δ δ

= −i( 12 P 2 − 1) + C α

α

+ Cα α +B + B

. (8.3.5)

δC δC δB δB

The analog in the usual OSp(1,1|2) formalism is

1 2

2 {J − , [J −α , p+ ]}

α

= pA pA ≡ 2p+ p− + pα pα = 2 − M 2 . (8.3.6)

8.3. Lorentz gauge 161

**This diﬀers from the usual light-cone gauge-ﬁxed hamiltonian p− , which is not OSp(1,1|2)
**

invariant. Unlike the ordinary BRST case (but like the light-cone formalism), this

operator is invertible, since it’s of the standard form K = 12 p2 + · · ·. This was made

possible by the appearance of an even number (2) of anticommuting zero-modes. In

ordinary BRST (sect. 4.4), the kinetic operator is fermionic: c(2 − M 2 ) − 2 ∂c

∂

M + is

not invertible because M + is not invertible.

As usual, the propagator can be converted into a form amenable to ﬁrst-quantized

path-integral techniques by ﬁrst introducing the Schwinger proper-time parameter:

∞

1

= dτ e−τ K , (8.3.7)

K 0

**where τ is identiﬁed with the (Wick-rotated) world-sheet time. At the free level, the
**

analysis of this propagator corresponds to solving the Schrödinger equation or, in

the Heisenberg picture (or classical mechanics of the string), to solving for the time

dependence of the coordinates which follow from treating K as the hamiltonian:

[K, Z] = iZ ,

.

Z − [K, Z] = 0 → Z = Z(σ + iτ ) (8.3.8)

!∞

for Z = P, C, B, δ/δC, δ/δB. Thus in the mode expansion Z = z 0 + 1 (z n † e−in(σ+iτ ) +

z n ein(σ+iτ ) ) the positive-energy z n † ’s are creation operators while the negative-energy

z n ’s are annihilation operators. (Remember active vs. passive transformations: In the

Schrödinger picture coordinates are constant while states have time dependence e−tH ;

in the Heisenberg picture states are constant while coordinates have time dependence

etH ( )e−tH .)

When doing string ﬁeld theory, in order to deﬁne real string ﬁelds we identify

complex conjugation of the ﬁelds as usual with proper-time reversal in the mechanics,

which, in order to preserve handedness in the world sheet, means reversing σ as well

as τ . As a result, all reparametrization-covariant variables with an even number of

2D vector indices are interpreted as string-ﬁeld coordinates, while those with an odd

number are momenta. (See sect. 8.1.) This means that X is a coordinate, while B and

C are momenta. Therefore, we should deﬁne the string ﬁeld as Φ[X(σ), G(σ), F α (σ)],

where B = iδ/δG and C α = iδ/δF α . This ﬁeld is real under a combined complex

conjugation and “twist” (σ → −σ), and Qα is odd in the number of functional plus

σ derivatives. (Note that the corresponding replacement of B with G and C with F

would not be required if the G i ’s had been associated with a Yang-Mills symmetry

rather than general coordinate transformations, since in that case B and C carry no

vector indices.)

162 8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

**This OSp(1,1|2) algebra can also be derived from the classical mechanics action.
**

dσ m

The 2D general coordinate transformations (6.1.2) generated by δ =

(σ)G

2π m (σ)

determine the BRST transformations by (3.3.2):

Qα X = C mα ∂ m X ,

Qα gmn = ∂ p (C pα gmn ) − gp(m ∂ p C n)α ,

Qα C mβ = 12 C n(α ∂ n C mβ) − C αβ B m ,

Qα B m = 12 (C nα ∂ n B m − B n ∂ n C mα )

1

− 8 2C nβ (∂ n C pα )∂ p C m β + C nβ C p β ∂ n ∂ p C mα .

(8.3.9)

**We then redeﬁne
**

B m = B m − 12 C nα ∂ n C m α →

m

Qα C mβ = C nα ∂ n C mβ − C αβ B ,

Qα B m = C nα ∂ n B

m . (8.3.10)

The rest of the OSp(1,1|2) follows from (3.3.7):

J +α (X, gmn , C mβ ) = 0 , m = 2C m

J +α B ;

α

m) = 0 ,

J αβ (X, gmn , B J αβ C mγ = δ (α γ C m β) ;

J −+ (X, gmn ) = 0 , m = 2B

J −+ B m , J −+ C mα = C mα . (8.3.11)

**An ISp(2)-invariant gauge-ﬁxing term is (dropping boundary terms)
**

L1 = Qα 2 21 η pq gpq = −η pq B p ∂ m gqm + 12 gmn (∂ m C pα )(∂ n C q α ) , (8.3.12)

**where η is the ﬂat world-sheet metric. This expression is the analog of the gauge-
**

gives the

ﬁxing term Q2 12 A2 for Lorentz gauges in Yang-Mills [3.6,12]. Variation of B

condition for harmonic coordinates. The ghosts have the same form of lagrangian

as X, but not the same boundary conditions: At the boundary, any variable with

an even number of 2D vector indices with the value 1 has its σ-derivative vanish,

while any variable with an odd number vanishes itself. These are the only boundary

conditions consistent with Poincaré and BRST invariance. They are preserved by the

redeﬁnitions below.

8.3. Lorentz gauge 163

**Rather than this Landau-type harmonic gauge, we can also deﬁne more general
**

Lorentz-type gauges, such as Fermi-Feynman, by adding to (8.3.12) a term propor-

tional to Q2 12 η mn C mα C n α = − 12 η mnB m B n + · · ·. We will not consider such terms

further here.

Although the hamiltonian quantum mechanical form of Qα (8.3.3) also follows

from (3.3.2) (with the functional derivatives now with respect to functions of just σ

instead of both σ and τ ), the relation to the lagrangian form follows only after some

redeﬁnitions, which we now derive. The hamiltonian form that follows directly from

(8.3.9,10) can be obtained by applying the Noether procedure to L = L0 + L1 : The

BRST current is

J mα = (gnp C mα − gm(n C p)α ) 12 (∂ n X) · (∂ p X) + (∂ n C qβ )(∂ p C qβ )

− B n ∂ p (gn[m C p]α − gmp C nα ) , (8.3.13)

**where (2D) vector indices have been raised and lowered with the ﬂat metric. Canon-
**

ically quantizing, with

1 0 δ 1 δ 1 δ

P =i ,

B m = −i 0m ,

Πmα = i mα , (8.3.14a)

α δX α δg α δC

we apply

.

X=−

1

(P 0 + g01 X ) ,

.

C mα = −

1

(Πmα + g01 C mα ) , (8.3.14b)

g00 g00

to the ﬁrst term in (8.3.13) and

∂ m gmn = 0 , g0m ∂ m C nα = −Πnα , (8.3.14c)

**to the second to obtain
**

1

J 0α

= − 00 C 0α 1

2 (P 02 + X 2 ) + (Πmβ Πmβ + C mβ C mβ )

g

g01

+ C 1α

− 00 C 0α (X · P 0 + C mβ Πmβ ) − B mα

+ (gm[0 C 1]α) ,

m Π

g

(8.3.15)

where Qα ∼ dσ J 0α .

By comparison with (8.3.3), an obvious simpliﬁcation is to absorb the g factors

into the C’s in the ﬁrst two terms. This is equivalent to

C mα → δ 1 m C 1α − g0m C 0α , (8.3.16)

164 8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

This puts

and the corresponding redeﬁnitions (unitary transformation) of Π and B.

terms,

g-dependence into the BΠ

1 0 g01

Πm B m → Π0 − 00 B + Π1 B 1 − 00 B 0 + · · · , (8.3.17)

g g

unlike (8.3.3), so we remove it by the g redeﬁnition

g01 = −g 1 , g00 = − 1 + 2g 0 + (g 1 )2 ;

1 δ

Bm = i m . (8.3.18)

α δg

These redeﬁnitions give

J 0α = C 0α 12 (P 02 + X 2 ) + C 1α X · P 0

+ C 0α (C 0β Π1β ) + C 1α C mβ Πmβ + (C 0β Π0β )

− C 0α (B 1 + g 1 B 0 ) + C 1α −B 0 + g m B m + (g 0 B 0 )

1 mβ

+ C 0α 2C C mβ + (g m C 0β ) C m β − Πm α B m . (8.3.19)

**The quadratic terms CB don’t appear in (8.3.3), and can be removed by the unitary
**

transformation

−1 1

Q α

= UQ U α

, ln U = −i C 0α C 1 α , (8.3.20)

α

giving

J 0α = C 0α 12 (P 02 + X 2 ) + C 1α X · P 0

+ C 0α (C 0β Π1β ) + C 1α C mβ Πmβ + (C 0β Π0β )

− C 0α (g 1 B 0 ) + C 1α g m B m + (g 0 B 0 )

+ C 0α (g m C 0β ) C m β − Πm α B m . (8.3.21)

**Finally, the remaining terms can be ﬁxed by the transformation
**

1

ln U = i C 0α (g 1 C 0 α + g 0 C 1 α ) (8.3.22)

α

to get (8.3.3), after extending σ to [−π, π] by making the deﬁnitions

1

P̂ = √

(P 0 + X ) ,

2α

1 δ 1

Cα = √ (C 0α + C 1α ) , i = √ (Π0α + Π1α ) ,

2α δC α

2α

8.3. Lorentz gauge 165

1 δ 1

G= √

(g 0 + g 1 ) , i = √ (B 0 + B 1 ) , (8.3.23)

2α δG 2α

where the previous coordinates, deﬁned on [0, π], have been extended to [−π, π] as

Z(−σ) = ±Z(σ) , (8.3.24)

with “+” if Z has an even number of vector indices with the value 1, and “−” for an

odd number, in accordance with the boundary conditions, so that the new coordinates

will be periodic in σ with period 2π.

To describe the closed string with the world-sheet metric, we again use 2 sets of

open-string operators, as in (7.1.17), with each set of open-string operators given as

in (8.3.3,4), and the translations are now, in terms of the zero-modes b and c of B

and C,

∂

p+ = −2i,

∂b

1 ∂

pα = i ,

p+ ∂cα

1

p− = − K + pα 2 . (8.3.25)

p+

The OSp(1,1|2) subgroup of the resulting IOSp(1,1|2), after the use of the constraints

∆p = 0, reduces to what would be obtained from applying the general result (3.3.2)

to closed string mechanics. ((3.2.6a), without the B∂/∂ C̃ term, gives the usual BRST

operator when applied to closed-string mechanics, which is the same as the sum of

two open-string ones with the two sets of physical zero-modes identiﬁed.)

We now put the OSp(1,1|2) generators in a form analogous to those derived

from the light cone [3.13]. Let’s ﬁrst consider the open string. Separating out the

dependence on the zero-modes g and f α in the OSp(1,1|2) operators,

∂

J αβ = f (α β) + M αβ ,

∂f

∂ ∂

J −+ = −2g − fα α + M −+ ,

∂g ∂f

∂

J +α = −2g α + M +α ,

∂f

∂ ∂

J −α = f α − igBα + K α + iC α β f β + M −α , (8.3.26)

∂g ∂f

are the parts of the J’s not containing these zero-modes, K is given

where the M’s

in (8.3.4), and

Bα = BC α ,

166 8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

C αβ = C α C β = C βα . (8.3.27)

, B , C , and K; the

From (3.3.8) and (8.3.26) we ﬁnd the commutators of M AB α αβ

nonvanishing ones are:

,M

[M ] = −C

αβ γδ (γ(α M β)δ) ,

,M

[M ] = −C M ,

αβ ±γ γ(α ±β)

,M

{M } = −C M

−α +β αβ −+ − M αβ ,

,M

[M ] = ∓M

,

−+ ±α ±α

,M

{M } = 2iKC ,

−α −β αβ

, B ] = −C B , C ] = −C

[M αβ γ γ(α β) , [M αβ γδ (γ(α C β)δ) ,

, B ] = 3B

[M , , C ] = 2C

[M ,

−+ α α −+ αβ αβ

, B } = 2C

{M , C ] = −C

+α β αβ , [M −α βγ α(β B γ) . (8.3.28)

(To show {M −[α , B β] } = 0 requires explicit use of (8.3.3), but it won’t be needed

below.)

We then make the redeﬁnition (see (3.6.8))

g = 12 h2 (8.3.29)

**as for the particle. We next redeﬁne the zero-modes as in (3.5.2) by ﬁrst making the
**

unitary transformation

1 ∂

ln U = (ln h) 2 , fα − M −+ (8.3.30a)

∂f α

**to redeﬁne h and then
**

ln U = −f α M (8.3.30b)

+α

**to redeﬁne cα . The net result is that the transformed operators are
**

∂ ∂ ∂

J −+ = − h , J +α = −h , J αβ = f (α +M αβ ,

∂h ∂f α ∂f β)

∂ 1 ∂ βf + Q

J −α = fα + (K + f 2 ) − M α β α , (8.3.31a)

∂h h ∂f α

where

=M

Q 1

α −α − i 2 B α + K M +α . (8.3.31b)

8.3. Lorentz gauge 167

**We also have
**

1

p+ = h , p− = − (K + f 2 ) .

pα = −f α , (8.3.32)

h

These expressions have the canonical form (3.4.2a), with the identiﬁcation

↔M

M , ↔Q

Q . (8.3.33)

αβ αβ α α

From (8.3.28) we then ﬁnd

,Q

{Q } = −2K M

, (8.3.34)

α β αβ

**consistent with the identiﬁcation (8.3.33). Thus the IOSp(1,1|2) algebra (8.3.31,32)
**

takes the canonical form of chapt. 3. This also allows the closed string formalism to

be constructed.

**For expanding the ﬁelds, it’s more convenient to expand the coordinate in real
**

oscillators (preserving the reality condition of the string ﬁeld) as

∞ √

P̂ = p + n(−ian † e−inσ + ian einσ ) ,

1

∞ √

G=g+ n(g n † e−inσ + g n einσ ) ,

1

∞

1

B = b+ √ (−ibn † e−inσ + ibn einσ ) ,

1 n

∞ √

Fα = fα + n(f α n † e−inσ + f α n einσ ) ,

1

∞

1

C α = cα + √ (−icα n † e−inσ + icα n einσ ) . (8.3.35)

1 n

(With our conventions, always z n α† ≡ (z n α )† , and thus z nα † = −(z nα )† .) The com-

mutation relations are then

[am , an † ] = [bm , g n † ] = [g m , bn † ] = δ mn ,

{cmα , f nβ † } = {f mα , cnβ † } = δ mn C αβ , (8.3.36)

**We then have
**

∞

Q = (On † cnα − cnα † On ) − (bn † f nα − f nα † bn ) ,

α

1

1 1

On = √ L n + 2 bn − 2g n K ,

n

168 8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

∞

= −12 − 1 +

K=L n(an † · an + bn † g n + g n † bn + cn α† f nα + f n α† cnα )

0 2

1

= − 12 2 −1+N ,

= −

√

L n n∂ · an

∞

+ m(n + m)(am † · an+m + bm † g n+m + cm α† f n+m,α

m=1

+ g m † bn+m + f m α† cn+m,α )

n−1

+ m(n − m)(− 12 am · an−m + bm g n−m + cm α f n−m,α ) . (8.3.37)

m=1

**The Lorentz-gauge OSp(1,1|2) algebra can also be derived by the method of sect.
**

3.6. In the GL(1) case, we get the same algebra as above, while in the U(1) case we get

a diﬀerent result using the same coordinates, suggesting a similar ﬁrst-quantization

with the world-sheet metric. For the GL(1) case we deﬁne new coordinates at the

GL(2|2) stage of reduction:

X A = x̃A + CA , P A = p̃A + C A , (8.3.38)

**where C is the generalization of C α of (8.2.3) to arbitrary index. (Remember that in
**

GL(2|2) a lower primed index can be converted into an upper unprimed index.) P A

is then canonically conjugate to X A . We also have relations between the coordinates

such as

P A = P A , P A = p̌A + X A ,

A = p̌A σ + X A

X , (8.3.39)

where P A = (P A , P A ), etc. However, X

can be expressed in terms of P only

A A

**with an inverse σ-derivative. As a result, when reexpressed in terms of these new
**

coordinates, of all the IOSp(2,2|4) generators only the IGL(2|2) ones have useful

expressions. Of the rest, J˜AB is nonlocal in σ, while J˜AB and p̃A have explicit separate

terms containing xA and pA . Explicitly, the local generators are pA , p̌A , and

J˜A B = i(−1)AB x̌B p̌A − i X AP B , J˜AB = −ix[A p̌B) − i X A X B . (8.3.40)

**In these expressions we also use the light-cone constraint and gauge condition as
**

translated into the new coordinates:

1 2 + + α

P− = − P a − 2 + 2(p̌ + X )P + + 2(p̌ α

+ X )P α , X− = 0 .

2p̌−

(8.3.41)

8.3. Lorentz gauge 169

**After following the procedure of sect. 3.6 (or simply comparing expressions to deter-
**

mine the M ij ), the ﬁnal OSp(1, 1|2) generators (3.6.7c) are (dropping the primes on

the J’s)

J +α = 2i X αP + , J −+ = −i (2X − P + + X α P α ) , J αβ = −i X (α P β) ,

J −α = −i [X − P α + X α ( 12 P a 2 − 1 + X − P + + X β P β )] . (8.3.42)

This is just (8.3.3), with the identiﬁcation P + = G and X α = C α .

**In the U(1) case there is no such redeﬁnition possible (which gives expressions
**

local in σ). The generators are

J +α = ixα p+ + i X̂ α

P , J −+ = −ix− p+ − i X̂ − P + ,

+

J αβ = −ix(α pβ) − i X̂ α P β −i X̂ α P β ,

J −α = − ix− pα + ixα P − + i X̂ α P −

1

−i pa X̂ α P a −p β

X̂ α P β −i X̂ − P α ,

p+

−2p+ P − = P a 2 − 2 + P α P α + P α P α + 2P + P − , (8.3.43)

**where xA = pA = 0. After performing the unitary transformations (3.6.13), they
**

become

J +α = ixα p+ , J −+ = −ix− p+ , J αβ = −ix(α pβ) − i X̂ α P β − i X̂ α P β ,

J −α = − ix− pα + ixα P − +i X̂ α P −

1 a

−i p X̂ α P a −p β

X̂ α P β + X̂ α

P β

p+

+ X̂ −

P + 1

X̂ +

P

2

pa − 2p+ P . (8.3.44)

α 2 α −

**We can still interpret the new coordinates as the world-sheet metric, but diﬀerent
**

redeﬁnitions would be necessary to obtain them from those in the mechanics action,

and the gauge choice will probably diﬀer with respect to the zero-modes.

**Introducing extra coordinates has also been considered in [8.10], but in a way
**

equivalent to using bosonized ghosts, and requiring imposing D = 26 by hand instead

170 8. BRST QUANTUM MECHANICS

**of deriving it from unitarity. Adding 4+4 extra dimensions to describe bosonic strings
**

with enlarged BRST algebras OSp(1, 1|4) and OSp(2, 2|4) has been considered by

Aoyama [8.11].

**The use of such extra coordinates may also prove useful in the study of loop dia-
**

grams: In particular, harmonic-type gauges can be well-deﬁned globally on the world

sheet (unlike conformal gauges), and consequently certain parameters (the world-

sheet generalization of proper-time parameters for the particle, (5.1.13)) appear au-

tomatically [8.12]. This suggests that such coordinates may be useful for closed string

ﬁeld theory (or superstring ﬁeld theory, sect. 7.3).

**The gauge-invariant action, its component analysis, and its comparison with that
**

obtained from the other OSp(1,1|2) will be made in sect. 11.2.

Exercises

**(1) Prove that the operators (8.1.9) satisfy commutation relations like (7.1.7a). Prove
**

that they are conformally invariant.

**(2) Derive (8.1.20). Verify that the usual fermionic anticommutation relations for
**

(8.1.18) then follow from (8.1.19). Derive (8.1.22).

(3) Derive (8.1.15). Derive (8.1.23bc). Prove Q2 = 0.

(4) Derive (8.1.23ac) from the energy-momentum tensors of (8.1.27,28ac).

**(5) Find the commutation relations of 12 D̂dD̂ of (7.2.2), generalizing (8.1.2). Find
**

the BRST operator. Derive the gauge-ﬁxed Virasoro operators, and show the

conformal weights of Ψ̂ is 1/2, and of its ghosts are −1/2 and +3/2. Use (8.1.23)

to show the anomaly cancels for D = 10.

**(6) Find an alternate ﬁrst-order form of (8.1.28b) by rewriting the last term in terms
**

of F and ω, and show how (8.1.28ac) follow.

**(7) Show from the explicit expression for ω a that (8.1.27) can be made vielbein-
**

independent by ﬁeld redeﬁnition in the conformal gauge.

**(8) Explicitly prove the equivalence of the IGL(1)’s derived in sect. 8.1 and from the
**

light cone, using the analysis of sect. 8.2.

(9) Derive (8.3.1,3). Derive (8.3.9).

(10) Derive (8.3.28).

9.1. External fields 171

9. GRAPHS

9.1. External fields

**One way to derive Feynman graphs is by considering a propagator in an external
**

ﬁeld:

For example, for a scalar particle in an external scalar ﬁeld,

L = 12 ẋ2 − m2 − φ(x) → (9.1.1a)

[p2 + m2 + φ(x)]ψ(x) = 0 → (9.1.1b)

1 1 1 1

propagator = − 2 φ 2 +··· (9.1.1c)

p2 + m2 + φ(x) p2 +m2 p + m p + m2

2

= + + +···

**For the (open, bosonic) string, it’s useful to use the “one-handed” version of X(σ)
**

(as in (7.1.7b)) so that X̂ and P can be treated on an (almost) equal footing, so we

will switch to that notation hand and foot. Then the generalization of (9.1.1b) (again

jumping directly to the ﬁrst-quantized form for convenience) is [7.5]

χ[ 12 P 2 (σ) − 1 + V(σ)]ψ =0 . (9.1.2)

**(The OSp(1,1|2) algebra can be similarly generalized.) However, for consistency of
**

these equations of motion, they must satisfy the same algebra as 12 P 2 − 1 ((8.1.2)).

(In general, this is only true including ghost contributions, which we will ignore for

172 9. GRAPHS

**the examples considered here.) Expanding this condition order-by-order in V, we get
**

the new relations

[ 12 P 2 (σ 1 ) − 1, V(σ 2 )] = 2πiδ (σ 2 − σ 1 )V(σ 1 )

= 2πi [δ(σ 2 − σ 1 )V (σ 2 ) + δ (σ 2 − σ 1 )V(σ 2 )] , (9.1.3a)

[V(σ 1 ), V(σ 2 )] = 0 . (9.1.3b)

**The ﬁrst condition gives the conformal transformation properties of V (it transforms
**

covariantly with conformal weight 1, like P ), and the second condition is one of

“locality”. A simple example of such a vertex is a photon ﬁeld coupled to one end of

the string:

V(σ) = 2πδ(σ)A (X(0)) · P , (9.1.4)

**where X(0) = X̂(0). Graphs are now given by expanding the propagator as the
**

inverse of the hamiltonian

dσ 1 2

H= ( P − 1 + V) = L0 + dσ V ≡ L0 + V . (9.1.5)

2π 2

**More general vertices can be found when normal ordering is carefully taken into
**

account [1.3,4], and one ﬁnds that (9.1.3a) can be satisﬁed when the external ﬁeld is

on shell. For example, consider the scalar vertex

V(σ) = −2πδ(σ)φ (X(0)) . (9.1.6)

**Classically, scalar ﬁelds have the wrong conformal weight (zero):
**

1 1 2

∂

P (σ 1 ) − 1, φ X̂(σ 2 ) = iδ(σ 2 − σ 1 ) φ X̂(σ 2 ) ; (9.1.7a)

2π 2 ∂σ 2

but quantum mechanically they have weight “− 12 2 ”:

1 1 2

∂

2 P (σ 1 ) − 1, φ X̂(σ 2 ) = iδ(σ 2 − σ 1 ) φ X̂(σ 2 )

2π ∂σ 2

∂2

+ −2 1

iδ (σ 2 − σ 1 )φ X̂(σ 2 ) .

∂ X̂ 2 (σ 2 )

(9.1.7b)

**Therefore φ X̂(σ 2 ) , and thus V of (9.1.6), satisﬁes (9.1.3a) if φ is the on-shell ground
**

state (tachyon): − 12 2 φ = 1 · φ. (Similar remarks apply quantum mechanically for

the masslessness of the photon in the vertex (9.1.4).)

9.1. External fields 173

**As an example of an S-matrix calculation, consider a string in an external plane-
**

wave tachyon ﬁeld, where the initial and ﬁnal states of the string are also tachyons:

φ(x) = e−ik·x → : e−ik·X(0) : (9.1.8)

We then ﬁnd

k1 kN

···

k2 k N−1

= g N−2 k N | V (k N−1 ) · · · ∆(p)V (k 3 )∆(p)V (k 2 ) |k 1

= g N−2 0 V (k N−1 ) · · · ∆(k 3 + k 4 + · · · + k N )V (k 2 ) 0 ,

∞

1

V (k) = : e −ik·X(0)

: = V (k)e−ik·x , X(0) = √ (an † + an ) ,

1 n

∞

1

∆(p) = 1 2 , N= nan † · an , (9.1.9)

2p + (N − 1) 1

where g is the coupling constant, and we have pulled the x pieces out of the X’s and

pushed them to the right, causing shifts in the arguments of the ∆’s (which were

originally p, the momentum operator conjugate to x, not to be confused with the

constants k i ). We use Schwinger-like parametrizations (5.1.13) for the propagators:

∞ 1 1

1 −t[ 2 p2 +(N −1)] dx 12 p2 +(N −1)

1 2 = dt e = x (x = e−t ) , (9.1.10)

2 p + (N − 1) 0 0 x

**where we use ti for ∆(k i + · · · + k N ), as the diﬀerence in proper time between V (k i−1 )
**

and V (k i ). Plugging (9.1.10) into (9.1.9), the amplitude is

N−1 ' (

" 1 dxi 21 (ki +···+kN )2 −1 " na† ·a −ik 2 · √n a†

1

g N−2

xi 0 · · · x3 e 0 . (9.1.11)

i=3 0 xi n

**To evaluate matrix-elements of harmonic oscillators it’s generally convenient to use
**

coherent states:

†

|z

≡ eza |0

→

∂

† †

a |z

= z |z

, a† z = z , ez a |z

= |z + z

, xa a |z

= |xz

,

∂z

z̄z d2 z −|z|2

z|z

= e , 1= e |z

z| ,

π

174 9. GRAPHS

d2 z −|z|2

e z| O |z

.

tr(O) = (9.1.12)

π

)

Using (9.1.12) and the identity ∞

1 e

−cxn /n

= (1 − x)c , (9.1.11) becomes

ki ·kj

" dxi 12 (ki +···+kN)2 −1 " "

j

g N−2 xi 1 − xk . (9.1.13)

xi 2≤i<j≤N−1 k=i+1

**We next make the change of variables
**

i

τi = tj , τ2 = 0 , τN = ∞ → 0 = τ2 ≤ τ3 ≤ · · · ≤ τN = ∞ ,

j=3

(9.1.14a)

or

"

i

zi = xj , z2 = 1 , zN = 0 → 1 = z 2 ≥ z 3 ≥ · · · ≥ z N = 0 , (9.1.14b)

j=3

with

z i = e−τ i , (9.1.14c)

**where τ i is the absolute proper time of the corresponding vertex. Using the mass-shell
**

condition k i 2 = 2, the ﬁnal result is then [9.1]

N−1

" "

g N−2

dz i (z i − z j )ki ·kj . (9.1.15)

i=3 2≤i<j≤N

**The simplest case is the 4-point function (N= 4) [9.2]
**

1 1 1

g 2

dz z − 2 s−2 (1 − z)− 2 t−2 ( s = −(k 1 + k 2 )2 , t = −(k 2 + k 3 )2 )

0

Γ(− 12 s − 1)Γ(− 12 t − 1)

= g 2 B(− 12 s − 1, − 12 t − 1) = g 2 (9.1.16a)

Γ(− 12 s − 12 t − 2)

1

2

∞

( t + 1 + j)( 1 t + j) · · · ( 1 t + 1)

2 2 2 1

=g (9.1.16b)

j=0 j! j− ( 12 s + 1)

1

= in s→−∞

lim g 2 Γ(− 12 t − 1)(− 12 s − 1) 2 t+1 . (9.1.16c)

t f ixed

**(9.1.16b) shows that the amplitude can be expressed as a sum of poles in the s channel
**

with squared masses 2(j − 1), with maximum spin j (represented by the coeﬃcient

with leading term tj ). Since the amplitude is symmetric in s and t, it can also be

expressed as a sum of poles in the t channel, and thus summing over poles in one

channel generates poles in the other. (It’s not necessary to sum over both.) This

9.1. External fields 175

**property is called “duality”. (9.1.16c) shows that the high-energy behavior goes like
**

1

s 2 t+1 instead of the usual ﬁxed-power behavior sj due to the exchange of a spin j

particle, which can be interpreted as the exchange of a particle with eﬀective spin

j = 12 t + 1. This property is known as “Regge behavior”, and j(t) = 12 t + 1 is called

the “leading Regge trajectory”, which not only describes the high-energy behavior

but also the (highest) spin at any given mass level (the mass levels being given by

integral values of j(t)).

**Instead of using operators to evaluate propagators in the presence of external
**

ﬁelds, we can also use the other approach to quantum mechanics, the Feynman path

integral formalism. In particular, for the calculation of purely tachyonic amplitudes

considered above, we evaluate (9.1.9) directly in terms of V (rather than V ), after

using (9.1.10):

∞ ' (

1 2 +N −1)

g N−2 dt3 · · · dtN−1 k N V (k N−1 ) · · · e−t3 ( 2 p V (k 2 ) k 1 . (9.1.17)

0

**Using (9.1.14a), we can rewrite this as
**

N−1

" τ i+1

g N−2

dτ i k N | V (k N−1 , τ N−1 ) · · · V (k 3 , τ 3 )V (k 2 , τ 2 ) |k 1

, (9.1.18a)

i=3 τ i−1

where

1 2 +N −1) 1 2 +N −1)

V (k, τ ) = : e−ik·X(0,τ ) : , X(0, τ ) = eτ ( 2 p X(0)e−τ ( 2 p , (9.1.18b)

**is the vertex which has been (proper-)time-translated from 0 to τ . (Remember that in
**

the Heisenberg picture operators have time dependence O(t) = etH O(0)e−tH , whereas

in the Schrödinger picture states have time dependence |ψ(t)

= e−tH |ψ(0)

, so that

time-dependent matrix elements are the same in either picture. This is equivalent to

the relation between ﬁrst- and second-quantized operators.) External states can also

be represented in terms of vertices:

|k

= lim V (k, τ )e−τ |0

, k| = lim 0| eτ V (k, τ ) . (9.1.19)

τ →−∞ τ →∞

**The amplitude can then be represented as, using (9.1.14c),
**

N−1

" z i+1

g N−2

dz i lim (z 1 )2 0| V (k N , z N ) · · · V (k 1 , z 1 ) |0

z 1 →∞

, (9.1.20a)

i=3 z i−1 z N →0

where

1

V (k, z) = − V (k, τ (z)) (9.1.20b)

z

176 9. GRAPHS

**according to (8.1.6), since vertices have weight w = 1. The amplitude with this form of
**

the external lines can be evaluated by the same method as the previous calculation.

(In fact, it directly corresponds to the calculation with 2 extra external lines and

vanishing initial and ﬁnal momenta.) However, being a vacuum matrix element, it

is of the same form as those for which path integrals are commonly used in ﬁeld

theory. (Equivalently, it can also be evaluated by the operator methods commonly

used in ﬁeld theory before path integral methods became more popular there.) More

details will be given in the following section, where such methods will be generalized

to arbitrary external states.

Coupling the superstring to external super-Yang-Mills is analogous to the bosonic

string and superparticle [2.6]: Covariantize D α → D α + δ(σ)Γα , P a → P a + δ(σ)Γa ,

Ωα → Ωα + δ(σ)W α . Assuming dσ A as kinetic operator (again ignoring ghosts),

the vertex becomes

V = W α D α + Γa P a − Γα Ωα (9.1.21)

evaluated at σ = 0. Solving the constraints (5.4.8) in a Wess-Zumino gauge, we ﬁnd

W α ≈ λα ,

Γa ≈ Aa + 2γ a αβ Θα λβ ,

Γα ≈ γ a αβ Θβ Aa + 43 γ a αβ γ aγδ Θβ Θγ λδ , (9.1.22)

**evaluated at σ = 0, where “≈” means dropping terms involving x-derivatives of the
**

physical ﬁelds Aa and λα . Plugging (7.3.5) and (9.1.22) into (9.1.21) gives

δ

V ≈A a

P a +λ α

− γ a αβ P a Θβ − 16 iγ a αβ γ aγδ Θβ Θγ Θδ . (9.1.23)

δΘα

Comparing with (7.3.6), we see that the vertices, in this approximation, are the same

as the integrands of the supersymmetry generators, evaluated at σ = 0. (In the case

of ordinary ﬁeld theory, the vertices are just the supersymmetry generators pa and q α ,

to this order in θ.) Exact expressions can be obtained by expansion of the superﬁelds

Γα , Γa , and W α in (9.1.21) to all orders in Θ [7.6]. In practice, superﬁeld techniques

should be used even in the external ﬁeld approach, so such explicit expansion (or even

(9.1.22) and (9.1.23)) is unnecessary. It’s interesting to note that, if we generalize D,

P , and Ω to gauge-covariant derivatives ∇α = D α +Γα , ∇a = D a +Γa , ∇α = Ωα +W α ,

with Γα , Γa , and W α now functions of σ, describing the vector multiplets of all

masses, then the fact that the only mode of the ∇’s missing is the zero-mode of Ωα

**( dσ Ωα = 0) directly corresponds to the fact that the only gauge-invariant mode
**

9.2. Trees 177

**of the connections is the zero-mode of W α (the massless spinor, the massive spinors
**

being Stueckelberg ﬁelds).

The external ﬁeld approach has also been used in the string mechanics lagrangian

method to derive ﬁeld theory lagrangians (rather than just S-matrices) for the lower

mass levels (tachyons and massless particles) [9.3,1.16]. Since arbitrary external ﬁelds

contain arbitrary functions of the coordinates, the string mechanics lagrangian is no

longer free, and loop corrections give the ﬁeld theory lagrangian including eﬀective

terms corresponding to eliminating the higher-mass ﬁelds by their classical ﬁeld equa-

tions. Thus, calculating all mechanics-loop corrections gives an eﬀective ﬁeld theory

lagrangian whose S-matrix elements are the tree graphs of the string ﬁeld theory with

external lines corresponding to the lower mass levels. Such eﬀective lagrangians are

useful for studying tree-level spontaneous breakdown due to these lower-mass ﬁelds

(vacua where these ﬁelds are nontrivial). Field-theory-loop corrections can be cal-

culated by considering more general topologies for the string (mechanics-loops are

summed for one given topology).

9.2. Trees

The external ﬁeld approach is limited by the fact that it treats ordinary ﬁelds

individually instead of treating the string ﬁeld as a whole. In order to treat general

string ﬁelds, a string graph can be treated as just a propagator with funny topology:

For example,

@

@

@

' $

@

@

@

@

@

@

& %

@

@

@

**can be considered as a propagator where the initial and ﬁnal “one-string” states just
**

happen to be disconnected. The holes in the world sheet represent loops. When group

178 9. GRAPHS

theory indices are associated with the ends of the lines, the values of the indices are

required to be the same along the entire line, which corresponds to tracing in the ma-

trices associated with the string states. (The ends of the strings can be interpreted as

“quarks” which carry the “ﬂavor” quantum numbers, bound by a string of “gluons”

which carry only “color” canceled by that of the quarks.) Such an approach is limited

to perturbation theory, since the string is necessarily gauge-ﬁxed, and any one graph

has a ﬁxed number of external lines and loops, i.e., a ﬁxed topology. The advan-

tage of this approach to graphs is that they can be evaluated by ﬁrst-quantization,

analogously to the free theory. (Even the second-quantized coupling constant can be

included in the ﬁrst-quantized formalism by noting that the power of the coupling

constant which appears in a graph, up to wave function normalizations, is just the

Euler number, and then adding the corresponding curvature integral to the mechanics

action.)

**We ﬁrst consider the light-cone formalism. We Wick rotate the proper time τ →
**

iτ (see sects. 2.5-6), so now conformal transformations are arbitrary reparametriza-

tions of ρ = −τ + iσ (and the complex conjugate transformation on ρ̄) instead of

τ + σ (and of τ − σ independently: see (6.2.7)), since the metric is now dσ 2 = dρdρ̄.

There are three parts to the graph calculation: (1) expressing the S-matrix in terms

of the Green function for the 2D Laplace equation, (2) ﬁnding an explicit expression

for the Green function for the 2D surface for that particular graph, by conformally

transforming the ρ plane to the upper-half complex (z) plane where the Green func-

tion takes a simple form, and (3) ﬁnding the measure for the integration over the

positions of the interaction points.

**The ﬁrst step is easy, and can be done using functional integration [9.4,1.4] or
**

solving functional diﬀerential equations (the string analog of Feynman path integrals

and the Schrödinger equation, respectively). Since all but the zero-mode (the usual

spacetime coordinate) of the free string is described by an inﬁnite set of harmonic

oscillators, the most convenient basis is the “number” basis, where the nonzero-modes

are represented in terms of creation and annihilation operators. The basic idea is then

to represent S-matrix elements as

A = ext|V

= ext| e∆ |0

, (9.2.1)

where |V

represents the interaction and ext| represents all the states (initial and

ﬁnal) of the external strings, in the interaction picture. This is sort of a spacetime

symmetric version of the usual picture, where an initial state propagates into a ﬁnal

9.2. Trees 179

**state: Instead, the vacuum propagates into an “external” state. The exponential e∆
**

is then the analog of the S-matrix exp(−H IN T t), which propagates the vacuum at

time 0 to external states at time t. It thus converts annihilation operators on its left

(external, “out” states) into creation operators (for the “in” state, the vacuum, at

“time” x+ = 0). ∆ itself is then the “connected” S-matrix: In this ﬁrst-quantized pic-

ture, which looks like a free 2D theory in a space with funny geometry, it corresponds

directly to the free propagator in this space. Since we work in the interaction picture,

we subtract out terms corresponding to propagation in an “ordinary” geometry.

**In the former approach, the amplitude can be evaluated as the Feynman path
**

integral

N−1

"

A= dτ i DX i (σ, τ )

i=3

" −i α1

dσ

P r (σ)·X r (σ,τ 1 )

· DP r (σ) Ψ[P r ]e 2π

r

!

d2 σ 1 2

− p−r τ 1r − α1 (Ẋ +X 2

)+constant

·e 2π 2 , (9.2.2)

corresponding to the picture (e.g., for N= 5)

σ

τ3

τ4

τ2

τ

τ1 τ1

**where the τ ’s have been Wick-rotated, τ 1r is the end of the rth string (to be taken
**

to ±∞), the p− τ 1 factor amputates external lines (converts from the Schrödinger

picture to the interaction picture), the factor in large brackets is the external-line wave

function Ψ[X] (or Ψ̄[X] for outgoing states) written as a Fourier transform, and the

constant corresponds to the usual normal-ordering constant in the free hamiltonian.

180 9. GRAPHS

)

For explicitness, we have written the integration over interaction points ( dτ ) for

the simple case of open-string tree graphs. Planar graphs always appear as rectangles

due to the string lengths being 2παp+ , which is conserved. The functional integral

(9.2.2) is gaussian, so, making the deﬁnition

1

J(σ, τ ) = iδ(τ − τ 1 ) √ P (σ) , (9.2.3)

α

we ﬁnd

d2 σ 11 2 1 d2 σ d2 σ

− 2 (∂X) + √ JX → − 12 J(σ)G(σ, σ )J(σ ) ,

2π α α 2π 2π

2 2 ∂

∂ G(σ, σ ) = 2πδ (σ − σ) , G(σ, σ ) = f (σ) 2

dσJ∼ p=0 ,

∂n

σr σs

G= (2 − δ m0 )(2 − δ n0 )G rs

mn cos m cos n emτ r /p+r +nτ s /p+s

p+r p+s

+ Gf ree + (zero-mode)2 terms

"

→ A= ( dτ i )V (τ ) Ψ e∆ 0 , ∆= 1

4 Grs mn αr m · αs n , (9.2.4)

where G is the 2D Green function for the kinetic operator (laplacian) ∂ 2 /∂τ 2 +∂ 2 /∂σ 2

of that particular surface, and V (τ ) comes from det(G). We have used Neumann

boundary conditions (corresponding to (6.1.5)), where the ambiguity contained in

the arbitrary function f (necessary in general to allow a solution) is harmless because

of the conservation of the current J (i.e., the momentum p). The Gf ree term is

dropped in converting to the interaction picture: In functional notation (see (9.2.2)),

it produces the ground-state wave function. The (zero-mode)2 terms are due to

boundary conditions at ∞, and appear when the map to the upper-half plane is chosen

so that the end of one string goes to ∞, giving a divergence. They correspond to the

factor 1/z N in the similar map used for (9.1.20a). The factors (2 − δ m0 ), which don’t

appear in the naive Green function, are to correct for the fact that the ﬁgure above

is not quite the correct one: The boundaries of the initial and ﬁnal strings should

not go to ±∞ before the source terms (9.2.3) (i.e., the wave functions) do, because of

the boundary conditions. The net result is that nonzero-modes appear with an extra

factor of 2 due to reﬂections from the boundary. However, these relative factors of 2

π dσ

are canceled in the σ-integration, since 0 2π cos2 mσ = 14 (1 + δ m0 ). Explicitly, after

transforming the part of the ρ plane corresponding to the string to the whole of the

upper-half z plane, the Green function becomes

G(z, z ) = ln|z − z | + ln|z − z̄ | . (9.2.5)

9.2. Trees 181

**The ﬁrst term is the usual Green function without boundaries, whose use in the z
**

plane (and not just the ρ plane) follows from the fact that the Laplace equation is

conformally invariant. The second term, which satisﬁes the homogeneous Laplace

equation in the upper-half plane, has been added according to the method of images

in order to satisfy the boundary conditions at the real axis, and gives the reﬂections

which contribute the factors of 2.

**In the latter (Schrödinger equation/operator) approach, it all boils down to using
**

the general expression

. .

dz 1

dz 1

Ψ̌(z) = Ψ̌(z ) = − Ψ̌(z ) , (9.2.6)

z 2πi z − z r zr 2πi z − z

**where z r are the points in the z-plane representing the ends of the strings (at ρ =
**

±∞). Ψ̌(z) is an arbitrary operator which has been conformally transformed to the

z plane:

w ∞

∂ρ ρ̃r

Ψ̌r (z) = Ψ̃r (ρ) , Ψ̃r (ρ) = (p+r )−w Ψr , Ψr (ζ) = ψ rn e−nζ ,

∂z p+r −∞

(9.2.7a)

r−1

ρ̃r = ρ − iπ p+s , (9.2.7b)

s=1

**with Ψ(iσ) = Ψ̂(σ) in terms of P (σ) (so the ψ n ’s are the αn ’s of (7.1.7a)), and
**

the conformal transformations (9.2.7a) (cf. (8.1.6)) are determined by the conformal

weights w (= 1 for P̌ ). The ρ → z map is the map from the above ﬁgure to the

upper-half plane. The ζ → ρ map is the map from the free-string σ ∈ [0, π] to the rth

!r−1 !r

interacting-string σ ∈ [π s=1 p+s , π s=1 p+s ]. All σ integrals from −π to π become

contour integrals in the z plane. (The upper-half z plane corresponds to σ ∈ [0, π],

while the lower half is σ ∈ [−π, 0].) Since the string (including its extension to [−π, 0])

is mapped to the entire z plane without boundaries, (9.2.6) gets contributions from

only the ends, represented by z r . We work directly with P (σ), rather than X(σ),

since P depends only on ρ, while X depends on both ρ and ρ̄. (X̂ has a cut in the

z plane, since pσ isn’t periodic in σ.) The open string results can also be applied

directly to the closed string, which has separate operators which depend on z̄ instead

of z (i.e., + and − modes, in the notation of sect. 6.2). Actually, there is a bit of a

cheat, since P (σ) doesn’t contain the zero-mode x. However, this zero-mode needs

special care in any method: Extra factors of 2 appeared in the path-integral approach

because of the boundary conditions along the real z-axis and at inﬁnity. In fact, we’ll

see that the lost zero-mode terms can be found from the same calculation generally

182 9. GRAPHS

**used in both operator and path integral approaches to ﬁnd the integration measure
**

of step 3 above, and thus requires no extra eﬀort.

We therefore look directly for a propagator e∆ that gives

Ψ̌(z) = e∆ Ψ̌r (z)e−∆ = Ψ̌r (z) + [∆, Ψ̌r (z)] + · · · , (9.2.8)

**where Ψ̌r corresponds to a free in-ﬁeld for the rth string in the interaction picture,
**

˜ for which

and Ψ̌ to the interacting ﬁeld. To do this, we ﬁrst ﬁnd a ∆

˜ Ψ̌r ] = Ψ̌ .

[∆, (9.2.9)

**˜ (external-line amputation):
**

We next subtract out the free part of ∆

˜ = ∆ + ∆f ree

∆ , [∆f ree , Ψ̌r ] = Ψ̌r . (9.2.10)

**This gives a ∆ which is quadratic in operators, but contains no annihilation operators
**

(which are irrelevant anyway, since the |0

will kill them). As a result, there are no

terms with multiple commutators in the expansion of the exponential. We therefore

obtain (9.2.8). When we subtract out free parts below, we will include the parts of

the external-line amputation which compensate for the fact that z and z r are not at

the same time.

**We ﬁrst consider applying this method to operators of arbitrary conformal weight,
**

as in (8.1.23). The desired form of ∆ which gives (9.2.8) for both f and δ/δf is

. dz

.

dz 1 ˇ δ

∆0 = − f r (z) − f ree-string terms , (9.2.11a)

r,s zr 2πi zs 2πi z − z δ fˇs (z )

where

δ δ

ˇ , fˇs (z 2 ) = 2πiδ rs δ(z 2 − z 1 ) ↔ , fˆs (σ 2 ) = 2πδ rs δ(σ 2 − σ 1 ) ,

δ f r (z 1 ) δ fˆr (σ 1 )

(9.2.11b)

as follows from the fact that the conformal transformations preserve the commutation

relations of f and δ/δf . The integration contours are oriented so that

. πp+r

dρ dσ

= =1 . (9.2.12)

ρr 2πip+r −πp+r 2πp+r

**(9.2.11) can easily be shown to satisfy (9.2.8). The value of τ r (→ ±∞) for the
**

integration contour is ﬁxed, so the δ in ζ in these commutation relations is really just

a δ in σ of that contour. The free-string terms are subtracted as explained above.

9.2. Trees 183

**(In fact, they are poorly deﬁned, since the integration contours for r = s fall on top
**

of each other.)

Unfortunately, ∆ will prove diﬃcult to evaluate in this form. We therefore rewrite

it by expressing the 1/(z − z ) as the derivative with respect to either z or z of a ln

and perform an integration by parts. The net result can be written as

. dz

.

dz

∆(Ψ̌1 , Ψ̌2 ) = ln(z − z )Ψ̌1r (z)Ψ̌2s (z )

r,s zr 2πi zs 2πi

− f ree-string terms + (zero-mode)2 terms , (9.2.13a)

**[Ψ̌2r (z 2 ) , Ψ̌1s (z 1 )} = −2πiδ rs δ (z 2 − z 1 ) , (9.2.13b)
**

The on the contour integration is because the integration is poorly deﬁned due

to the cut for the ln: We therefore deﬁne it by integration by parts with respect to

either z or z , dropping surface terms. This also kills the constant part of the ln which

contributes the (zero-mode)2 terms, which we therefore add back in. Actually, (9.2.11)

has no (zero-mode)2 terms, but in the case Ψ1 = Ψ2 = P , these terms determine

the evolution of the zero-mode x, which doesn’t appear in P , and thus could not be

determined by (9.2.8) anyway. (x does appear in X and X̂, but they’re less convenient

to work with, as explained above.) These (quadratic-in-)zero-mode contributions are

most easily calculated separately by considering the case when all external states are

ground states of nonvanishing momentum (see below). In order for the commutation

relations (9.2.13b) to be preserved by the conformal transformations, it’s necessary

that the conformal weights w 1 and w 2 of Ψ1 and Ψ2 both be 1. In that case, Ψ̌ can

be replaced with Ψ̃ in (9.2.13a) while replacing dz with dρ. However, one important

use of this equation is for the evaluation of vertices (S-matrices with no internal

propagators). Since these vertices are just δ functionals in the string ﬁeld coordinates

(see below), and δ functionals are independent of conformal weight except for the

ζ → ρ transformation (since that transformation appears explicitly in the argument

of the δ functionals), we can write this result, for the cases of S-matrices with w 1 =

w 2 = 1 or vertices (with w 1 + w 2 = 2) as

. dρ . dρ

∆(Ψ̌1 , Ψ̌2 ) = ln(z − z )Ψ̌1r (ρ)Ψ̌2s (ρ )

r,s ρr 2πi ρs 2πi

− f ree-string terms + (zero-mode)2 terms , (9.2.14a)

**[Ψ2r (ζ 2) , Ψ1s (ζ 1 )} = −2πiδ rs δ (ζ 2 − ζ 1 ) , (9.2.14b)
**

where the appropriate ∆ for X (w 1 = w 2 = 1) is

∆ = 12 ∆(P̌ , P̌ ) . (9.2.15)

184 9. GRAPHS

These and free-string corrections may seem awkward, but they will automatically

be ﬁxed by the same method which gives a simple evaluation of the contour integrals:

i.e., the terms which are diﬃcult to evaluate are exactly those which we don’t want.

(For non-vertex S-matrices with w 1 = 1 = w 2 , (9.2.11) or (9.2.13) can be used, but

their evaluated forms are much more complicated in the general case.) In general

(for covariant quantization, supersymmetry, etc.) we also need extra factors which

are evaluated at inﬁnitesimal separation from the interaction (splitting) points, which

follow from applying the conformal transformation (9.2.7), and (9.2.6) with z = z IN T .

Only creation operators contribute.

The contour-integral form (9.2.14) can also be derived from the path-integral form

(9.2.4). For the open string [9.5], these contour integrals can be obtained by either

combining integrals over semicircles in the upper-half z plane (σ integrals from 0 to

π) with their reﬂections [9.6], or more directly by reformulating the open string as

a closed string with modes of one handedness only, and with interactions associated

with just the points σ = 0, π rather than all σ.

For the second step, Grs mn unfortunately is hard to calculate in general. For

open-string tree graphs, we perform the following conformal mapping to the upper-

half complex plane [9.4], where ∆ is easy to calculate:

N

ρ= p+r ln(z − z r ) . (9.2.16)

r=2

**The boundary of the (interacting) string is now the real z axis, and the interior is
**

the upper half of the complex z-plane. (The branches in the ln’s in (9.2.16) are thus

chosen to run down into the lower-half plane. When we use the whole plane for

contour integrals below, we’ll avoid integrals with contours with cuts inside them.)

As a result, operators such as P , which were periodic in σ, are now meromorphic

at z r , so the contour integrals are easy to evaluate. Also, extending σ from [0, π]

to [−π, π] extends the upper-half plane to the whole complex plane, so there are no

boundary conditions to worry about. To evaluate (9.2.14), we note that, since we are

neglecting (zero-modes)2 and free string terms (r = s, m = −n), we can replace

−mρ/p+r −nρ /p+s 1 ∂ ∂

ln(z − z )e → m n + ln(z − z ) e−mρ/p+r −nρ /p+s

p+r

+ p+s

∂ρ ∂ρ

(9.2.17)

by integration by parts. We then use the identity, for the case of (9.2.16),

∂ ∂ N

∂ ∂

+ ln(z − z ) = p+r ln(z − z r ) ln(z − z r ) . (9.2.18)

∂ρ ∂ρ r=2 ∂ρ ∂ρ

9.2. Trees 185

**Then we can trivially change completely to z coordinates by using dρ∂/∂ρ = dz∂/∂z,
**

and converting the ρ exponentials into products of powers of z monomials. Diﬀeren-

tiating the ln’s gives (products of) single-variable contour integrals which can easily

be evaluated as multiple derivatives:

1 N

∆= ψ 1rm ψ 2sn (p+r )1−w1 (p+s )1−w2 p+t Artm Astn + (zero-mode)2 ,

rsmn np+r + mp+s t=2

−m

. "

r−1 "N

dz 1

Artm = (z − z r ) (z s − z)p+s /p+r (z − z s )p+s /p+r .

zr 2πi z − z t s=2 s=r+1

(9.2.19)

)

For the third step, for open-string trees, we also need the Jacobian from dτ i →

)

( dz i )V (z), which for trees can easily be calculated by considering the graph where

all external states are tachyons and all but 2 strings (one incoming and one outgoing)

have inﬁnitesimal length. We can also restrict all transverse momenta to vanish, and

determine dependence on them at the end of the calculation by the requirement of

Lorentz covariance. (Alternatively, we could complicate the calculation by including

transverse momenta, and get a calculation more similar to that of (9.1.9).) We then

have the amplitude (from nonrelativistic-style quantum mechanical arguments, or

specializing (9.2.2))

N−1

"

!N−1

A=g N−2

f (p+r ) dτ i e− r=2

p−r τ r

, (9.2.20)

i=3

**where f is a function to be determined by Lorentz covariance, the τ ’s are the inter-
**

action points, the strings 1 and N are those whose length is not inﬁnitesimal, and

we also choose z 1 = ∞, z N = 0 in the transformation (9.2.16). We then solve for τ r

(= −Re(ρr )), in terms of z r (in this approximation of inﬁnitesimal lengths for all but

2 of the strings), as the ﬁnite values of ρ where the boundary “turns around”:

∂ρ

=0 →

∂z ρr

2

p+r

N−1

p+r

ρr = p+N ln z r + p+r ln − zr − 1 + p+s ln(z r − z s ) + O .

p+N s=2,s=r

p+N

(9.2.21)

We then ﬁnd, using the mass-shell condition p− = 1/p+ for the tachyon (p− is −H in

nonrelativistic-style calculations)

N−1 N−1

−1

" p+r " "

N

A=g N−2

f p+N dz i z 2 (z r − z s )p+r /p+s +p+s/p+r ·

r=2 e i=3 s>r=2

186 9. GRAPHS

!

pir nrs (p+ ,z)pis

·e , (9.2.22a)

**where we have now included the transverse-momentum factor nrs , whose exponential
**

form follows from previous arguments. Its explicit value, as well as that of f , can

now be determined by the manifest covariance of the tachyonic amplitude. However,

(9.2.22a) is also the correct measure for the z-integration to be applied to (9.2.1) (or

(9.2.4)), using ∆ from (9.2.19) (which is expressed in terms of the same transformation

(9.2.16)). At this point we can see that Lorentz covariance determines f to be such

that the factor in brackets is a constant. We then note that, using p− = −H =

−( 12 pi 2 + N − 1)/p+ , we have pr · ps = pir pis − [(p+r /p+s )( 12 pis 2 + N − 1) + r ↔ s].

This determines the choice of nrs which makes the amplitude manifestly covariant for

tachyons:

N−1

"

"

N 1 1

2 −1)−(p 2 −1)

dz V (z) = g N−2

dz i z 2 (z r − z s )pr ·ps −(p+r /p+s )( 2 ps +s /p+r )( 2 pr

.

i=3 s>r=2

(9.2.22b)

2

Note that p− dependence cancels, so pr · ps and pr can be chosen to be the covariant

ones. Taking N=1 to compare with the tachyonic particle theory, we see this agrees

with the result (9.1.15) (after choosing also z 2 = 1). It also gives the (zero-mode)2

terms which were omitted in our evaluation of ∆. (That is, we have determined both

of these factors by considering this special case.) For the case of the tachyon, we

could have obtained the covariant result (9.2.22b) more directly by using covariant

amputation factors, i.e., by using p− as an independent momentum instead of as the

hamiltonian (see sect. 2.5). However, the result loses its manifest covariance, even

on shell, for excited states because of the usual 1/p+ interactions which result in the

light-cone formalism after eliminating auxiliary ﬁelds.

**As mentioned in sect. 8.1, there is an Sp(2) invariance of free string theory. In
**

terms of the tree graphs, which were calculated by performing a conformal map to the

upper-half complex plane, it corresponds to the fact that this is the subgroup of the

conformal group which takes the upper-half complex plane to itself. Explicitly, the

transformation is z → (m11 z + m12 )/(m21 z + m22 ), where the matrix mij is real, and

without loss of generality can be chosen to have determinant 1. This transformation

also takes the real line to itself, and when combined with (9.2.16) modiﬁes it only

by adding a constant and changing the values of the z r (but not their order). In

particular, the 3 arbitrary parameters allow arbitrary values (subject to ordering) for

z 1 , z 2 , and z N , which were ∞, 1, and 0. (This adds a term for z 1 to (9.2.16) which was

previously dropped as an inﬁnite constant. ρ → ∞ as z → ∞ in (9.2.16) corresponds

9.2. Trees 187

**to the end of the ﬁrst string.) Because of the Sp(2) invariance, (9.2.22) can be
**

rewritten in a form with all z’s treated symmetrically: The tachyonic amplitude is

then

)N

dz r "

A=g N−2 r=1

(z i − z j )(z i − z k )(z j − z k ) (z r − z s )pr ·ps , (9.2.22c)

dz i dz j dz k 1≤r<s≤N

where z i , z j , z k are any 3 z’s, which are not integrated over, and with all z’s cyclically

ordered as in (9.1.14).

**Closed-string trees are similar, but whereas open-string interaction points occur
**

anywhere on the boundary, closed-string interaction points occur anywhere on the

surface. (Light-cone coordinates are chosen so that these points always occur for

those values of τ where the strings split or join.) Thus, for closed strings there are

also integrations over the σ’s of the interaction points. The amplitude corresponding

to (9.1.15) or (9.2.22) for the closed string, since it has both clockwise and counter-

clockwise modes, has the product of the integrand for the open string (for one set

of modes) with its complex conjugate (for the modes propagating in the opposite

direction), and the integral is over both z’s and z̄’s (i.e., both τ ’s and σ’s). (There

are also additional factors of 1/4 in the exponents due to the diﬀerent normalization

of the zero modes.) However, whereas the integral in (9.1.15) for the open string is

restricted by (9.1.14) so that the z’s (interaction points) lie on the boundary (the real

axis), and are ordered, in the closed string case the z’s are anyplace on the surface

(arbitrary complex).

**We next consider the evaluation of the open-string 3-point function, which will be
**

needed below as the vertex in the ﬁeld theory action. The 3-string vertex for the open

string can be written in functional form as a δ-functional equating the coordinates

of a string to those of the strings into which it splits. In the case of general string

coordinates Z:

**S IN T = g dτ D3 Z d3 p+ δ p+ δ[Z̃1 (σ) − Z̃3 (σ)]δ[Z̃2 (σ) − Z̃3 (σ)]Φ[1]Φ[2]Φ[3] ,
**

(9.2.23)

with Z̃ as in (9.2.7). We now use (9.2.6-16) for N= 3, with z r = ∞, 1, 0 in (9.2.16),

and p+1 with the opposite sign to p+2 and p+3 . The splitting point is

∂ρ p+3

=0 → z = z0 = − , ρ = τ 0 + iπp+2 , (9.2.24a)

∂z p+1

τ0 = 1

2 p+ ln (p+ 2 ) . (9.2.24b)

188 9. GRAPHS

**For (9.2.19), we use the integral
**

.

dz −n−1 1 dn u(u − 1) · · · (u − n + 1) u

z (z + 1)u = n

(z + 1)u |z=0 = = ,

0 2πi n! dz n! n

−u + n − 1 n

u

= (−1) (9.2.25)

n n

to evaluate

1 −m p+,r+1

m>0: Ar2m = p+3 N rm , Ar3m = −p+2 N rm ; N rm = p+r

;

p+,r+1 m

m=0: Art0 = δ rt − δ r1 . (9.2.26)

The result is then (see, e.g., [9.4]):

1 1 p2 + M 2

∆(Ψ̌1 , Ψ̌2 ) = −ψ 1 Nψ 2 − ψ1N ψ2 − ψ1 N ψ2 − τ 0 ,

n n 2p+

p+1 p+2 p+3

Nrsmn = N rm N sn , ψ = p+[r (ψ 0 )r+1] ,

np+r + mp+s

S= d 3 p+ d 3 ψ δ p+ δ ψ0 Φ1 Φ2 Φ3 e∆ 0 . (9.2.27)

**(In some places we have used matrix notation with indices r, s = 1, 2, 3 and m, n =
**

1, 2, ..., ∞ implicit.) The ψ’s include the p’s. For simplicity, we have assumed the

ψ’s have w = 1; otherwise, each ψ should be replaced with p+ 1−w ψ. The τ 0 term

comes from shifting the value of τ at which the vertex is evaluated from τ = 0 to the

!

interaction time τ = τ 0 (it gives just the propagator factor e−τ 0 Hr

, where H r is the

free hamiltonian on each string). In more general cases we’ll also need to evaluate

at the splitting point, which is also expressed in terms of the mode

a regularized Ψ

expansion of ln(z − z r ) (actually its derivative 1/(z − z r )) which was used in (9.2.14)

to obtain (9.2.27):

1 √

Ψ̌(z 0 ) → √ ψ + p+1 p+2 p+3 p+ −w N ψ . (9.2.28)

p+1 p+2 p+3

**(Again, matrix notation is used in the second term.) We have arbitrarily chosen a
**

convenient normalization factor in the regularization. (A factor which diverges as

z → z 0 must be divided out anyway.) The vertex is cyclically symmetric in the

3 strings (even though some strings have p+ < 0). Besides the conservation law

! !

p = 0, we also have p+ x = 0, which is actually the conservation law for angular

momentum J +i . These are special cases of the ψ 0 conservation law indicated above by

the δ function, after including the p+ 1−w . (Remember that a coordinate of weight w is

9.2. Trees 189

**conjugate to one with weight 1 − w.) This conservation law makes the deﬁnition of ψ̃
**

above r-independent. However, such conservation laws may be violated by additional

vertex factors (9.2.28).

**The 3-string vertex for the closed string in operator form is essentially just the
**

product of open-string vertices for the clockwise and counterclockwise modes, since

the δ functionals can be written as such a product, except for the zero modes. How-

ever, whereas open strings must join at their ends, closed strings may join anywhere,

and the σ parametrizing this joining is then integrated over. Equivalently, the vertex

dσ

may include projection operators δ ∆N,0 = 2π

eiσ∆N which perform a σ translation

equivalent to the integration. (The former interpretation is more convenient for a

ﬁrst-quantized approach, whereas the latter is more convenient in the operator for-

malism.) These projection operators are redundant in a “Landau gauge,” where the

residual σ → σ + constant gauge invariance is ﬁxed by introducing such projectors

into the propagator.

**In the covariant ﬁrst-quantized formalism one can consider more general gauges
**

for the σ-τ reparametrization invariance and local scale invariance than g mn = η mn .

Changing the gauge has the eﬀect of “stretching” the surface in σ-τ space. Since the

2D metric can always be chosen to be ﬂat in any small region of the surface, it’s clear

that the only invariant quantities are global. These are topological quantities (some

integers describing the type of surface) and certain proper-length parameters (such

as the proper-length of the propagator in the case of the particle, as in (5.1.13)). In

particular, this applies to the light-cone formalism, which is just a covariant gauge

with stronger gauge conditions (and some variables removed by their equations of

motion). Thus, the planar light-cone tree graph above is essentially a ﬂat disc, and

the proper-length parameters are the τ i , i = 3, . . . , N − 1. However, there are more

general covariant gauges even for such surfaces with just straight-line boundaries: For

example, we can identify

190 9. GRAPHS

1 3

3

1

=

4

2

2 4

**with the proper-length parameter being the relative position of the 2 splitting points
**

(horizontal or vertical displacement, respectively for the 2 graphs, with the value of

the parameter being positive or negative). More generally, the only invariants in

this graph are the proper length distances measured along the boundary between

the endpoints (the points associated with the external particles), less 3 which can be

eliminated by remaining projective invariance (consider, e.g., the surface as a disc,

with the endpoints on the circular boundary). Thus, we can keep the splitting points

in the positions in the ﬁgures and vary the proper-length parameters by moving the

ends instead. If this is interpreted in terms of ordinary Feynman graphs, the ﬁrst

graph seems to have intermediate states formed by the collision of particles 1 and 2,

while the second one is from 1 and 3. The identity of these 2 graphs means that the

same result can be obtained by summing over intermediate states in only 1 of these

2 channels as in the other, as we saw for the case of external tachyons in (9.1.16).

Thus, duality is just a manifestation of σ-τ reparametrization invariance and local

scale invariance.

9.3. Loops

**Here we will only outline the procedure and results of loop calculations (for details
**

see [0.1,1.3-5,9.7-10,5.4] and the shelf of this week’s preprints in your library). In the

ﬁrst-quantized approach to loops the only essential diﬀerence from trees is that the

topology is diﬀerent. This means that: (1) It’s no longer possible to conformally map

to the upper-half plane, although one can map to the upper-half plane with certain

lines identiﬁed (e.g., for the planar 1-loop graph, which is topologically a cylinder, we

can choose the region between 2 concentric semicircles, with the semicircles identiﬁed).

(2) The integration variables include not only the τ ’s of the interaction points which

9.3. Loops 191

deﬁne the position of the loop in the string, but also the σ’s, which are just the p+ ’s

of the loop. In covariant gauges it’s also necessary to take the ghost coordinates

into account. In the second-quantized approach the loop graphs follow directly from

the ﬁeld theory action, as in ordinary ﬁeld theory. However, for explicit calculation,

the second-quantized expressions need to be translated into ﬁrst-quantized form, as

for the trees. 1-loop graphs can also be calculated in the external ﬁeld approach by

“sewing” together the 2 ends of the string propagator, converting the matrix element

in (9.1.9) into a trace, using the trace operator in (9.1.12).

**An interesting feature of open string theories is that closed strings are generated
**

as bound states. This comes from stretching the one-loop graph with intermediate

states of 2 180◦ -twisted open strings:

'

$

&

%

' $

' $

=

& %

& %

=

**Thus, a closed string is a bound state of 2 open strings. The closed-string coupling
**

can then be related to the open-string coupling, either by examining more general

192 9. GRAPHS

**graphs, or by noticing that the Gauss-Bonnet theorem says that twice the number of
**

“handles” (closed-string loops) plus the number of “windows” (open string loops) is

a topological invariant (the Euler number, up to a constant), and thus 1 closed-string

loop can be converted into 2 open-string loops. Speciﬁcally,

h̄g closed = (h̄g open )2 → g closed = h̄g open 2 . (9.3.1)

**Thus, for consistent h̄ counting the open strings must be thought of as fundamental is
**

such a theory (which so far means just the SO(32) superstring), and the closed strings

as bound states. Since (known) closed strings always contain gravitons, this makes the

SO(32) superstring the only known example of a theory where the graviton appears

as a bound state. The graviton propagator is the result of ultraviolet divergences due

to particles of arbitrarily high spin which sum to diverge only at the pole:

∞

2 2 2 2 1 4 4 4 2 p2 k 2 1

dk (1 − α p k + 2α p k − · · ·) = dk 2 e−α = . (9.3.2)

0 α2 p2

(In general, p2 + M 2 appears instead of p2 , so the entire closed-string spectrum is

generated.)

As mentioned in the introduction, the topology of a 2D surface is deﬁned by a

few integers, corresponding to, e.g., the number of holes. By choosing the coordinates

of the surface appropriately (“stretching” it in various ways), the surface takes the

form of a string tree graph with one-loop insertions, each one loop insertion having

the value 1 of one of the topological invariants (e.g., 1 hole). (Actually, some of these

insertions are 1-loop closed-string insertions, and therefore are counted as 2-loop in

an open-string theory due to (9.3.1).) For example, a hole in an open-string sheet

may be pushed around so that it represents a loop as in a box graph, a propagator

correction, a tadpole, or an external line correction. Such duality transformations

can also be represented in Feynman graph notation as a consequence of the duality

properties of simpler graphs such as the 4-point tree graph (9.1.16):

@

@

@

@

@

@ = →

@

@

@

@

@

@

9.3. Loops 193

@

@

@

@ '$

@

= @ =

@

& %@

@

@

@

@

'$

@ @

@ = @ &%

@ @

@ @

@ @

@ @

**By doing stretching of such planar graphs out of the plane, these loops can even be
**

turned into closed-string tadpoles:

=

**Stretching represents continuous world-sheet coordinate transformations. How-
**

ever, there are some coordinate transformations which can’t be obtained by combining

inﬁnitesimal transformations, and thus must be considered separately in analyzing

gauge ﬁxing and anomalies [9.11]. The simplest example is for a closed-string loop

(vacuum bubble), which is a torus topologically. The group of general coordinate

transformations has as a subgroup conformal transformations (which can be obtained

as a residual gauge invariance upon covariant gauge ﬁxing, sect. 6.2). Conformal

transformations, in turn, have as a subgroup the (complex) projective group Sp(2,C):

The deﬁning representation of this group is given by 2×2 complex matrices with de-

terminant 1, so the corresponding representation space consists of pairs of complex

194 9. GRAPHS

**numbers. If we consider the transformation property of a complex variable which is
**

the ratio of the 2 numbers of the pair, we then ﬁnd:

z1 a b z1 z1

= , z0 = (9.3.3a)

z2 c d z2 z2

az 0 + b

→ , z0 = (9.3.3b)

cz 0 + d

where ad − bc = 1. Finally, the projective group has as a discrete subgroup the

“modular” group Sp(2,Z), where a, b, c, d are (real) integers (still satisfying ad − bc =

1). To see how this relates to the torus, deﬁne the torus as the complex plane with

the identiﬁcation of points

z → z + n1 z 1 + n2 z 2 (9.3.4)

**for any integers n1 , n2 , for 2 particular complex numbers z 1 , z 2 which point in diﬀerent
**

directions in the complex plane. We can then think of the torus as the parallelogram

with corners 0, z 1 , z 2 , z 1 +z 2 , with opposite sides identiﬁed, and the complex plane can

be divided up into an inﬁnite number of equivalent copies, as implied by (9.3.4). The

conformal structure of the torus can be completely described by specifying the value

of z 0 = z 1 /z 2 . (E.g., z 1 and z 2 both change under a complex scale transformation,

but not their ratio. Without loss of generality, we can choose the imaginary part of z 0

to be positive by ordering z 1 and z 2 appropriately.) However, if we transform (z 1 , z 2 )

under the modular group as in (9.3.3a), then (9.3.4) becomes

z → z + ni z i , z i = g ij zj , (9.3.5a)

where g ij is the Sp(2,Z) matrix, or equivalently

z → z + ni z i , ni = nj g j i . (9.3.5b)

**In other words, an Sp(2,Z) transformation gives back the same torus, since the identi-
**

ﬁcation of points in the complex plane (9.3.4) and (9.3.5b) is the same (since it holds

are all pairs of integers ni ). We therefore deﬁne the torus by the complex parameter

z 0 , modulo equivalence under the Sp(2,Z) transformation (9.3.3b). It turns out that

the modular group can be generated by just the 2 transformations

1

z0 → − and z 0 → z 0 + 1 . (9.3.6)

z0

The relevance of the modular group to the 1-loop closed-string diagram is that the

functional integral over all surfaces reduces (for tori) to an integral over z 0 . Gauge

9.3. Loops 195

**ﬁxing for Sp(2,Z) then means picking just one of the inﬁnite number of equivalent
**

regions of the complex plane (under (9.3.3b)). However, for a closed string in less than

its critical dimension, there is an anomaly in the modular invariance, and the theory

is inconsistent. Modular invariance also restricts what types of compactiﬁcation are

allowed.

**If the 2D general coordinate invariance is not violated by anomalies, it’s then
**

suﬃcient to consider these 1-loop objects to understand the divergence structure of

the quantum string theory. However, while the string can be stretched to separate any

two 1-loop divergences, we know from ﬁeld theory that overlapping divergences can’t

be factored into 1-loop divergences. This suggests that any 1-loop divergences, since

they would lead to overlapping divergences, would violate the 2D reparametrization

invariance which would allow the 1-loop divergences to be disentangled. Hence, it

seems that a string theory must be ﬁnite in order to avoid such anomalies. Conversely,

we expect that ﬁniteness at 1 loop implies ﬁniteness at all loops. Some direct evidence

of this is given by the fact that all known string theories with fermions have 1-loop

anomalies in the usual gauge invariances of the massless particles if and only if they

also have 1-loop divergences. After the restrictions placed by tree-level duality (which

determines the ground-state mass and restricts the open-string gauge groups to U(N),

USp(N), and SO(N)), supersymmetry in the presence of massless spin-3/2 particles,

and 1-loop modular invariance, this last anomaly restriction allows only SO(32) as

an open-string gauge group (although it doesn’t restrict the closed-string theories)

[1.11].

**Of the ﬁnite theories, the closed-string theories are ﬁnite graph-by-graph, whereas
**

the open-string theory requires cancellation between pairs of 1-loop graphs, with the

exception of the nonplanar loop discussed above. The 1-loop closed-string graphs

(corresponding to 2-loop graphs in the open-string theory) are (1) the torus (“handle”)

and (2) the Klein bottle, with external lines attached. The pairs of 1-loop open-string

graphs are (1) the annulus (planar loop, or “window”) + Möbius strip (nonorientable

loop) with external open and/or closed strings, and (2) the disk + a graph with the

topology of RP2 (a disk with opposite points identiﬁed) with external closed strings.

The Klein bottle is allowed only for nonoriented closed strings, and the Möbius strip

and RP2 are allowed only for nonoriented open strings.

**It should be possible to simplify calculations and give simple proofs of ﬁniteness
**

by the use of background ﬁeld methods similar to those which in gravity and super-

symmetry made higher-loop calculations tractable and allowed simple derivations of

196 9. GRAPHS

**no-renormalization theorems [1.2]. However, the use of arbitrary background string
**

ﬁelds will require the development of gauge-covariant string ﬁeld theory, the present

status of which is discussed in the following chapters.

Exercises

**(1) Generalize (9.1.3) to the spinning string, using (7.2.2) instead of 12 P 2 . Writing
**

1

2 D̂dD̂(σ) → 12 D̂dD̂(σ)+δ(σ)V, V = W +θV , show that V is determined explicitly

by W .

(2) Derive (9.1.7b).

**(3) Fill in all the steps needed to obtain (9.1.15) from (9.1.6,8). Derive all parts of
**

(9.1.16). Derive (9.1.19).

**(4) Evaluate (9.1.20) by using the result (9.1.15) with N → N + 2 (but dropping 2
**

dτ integrations) and letting k 0 = k N+1 = 0.

(5) Derive (9.2.18).

**(6) Generalize (9.2.16) to arbitrary z 1 , z 2 , z N and derive (9.2.22c) by the method
**

of (9.2.20,21). Take the inﬁnitesimal form of the Sp(2) transformation and show

that it’s generated by L0 , L±1 with the correspondence (8.1.3), where z = eiσ .

**(7) Derive (9.2.27). Evaluate Grsmn of (9.2.4) using (9.2.19,26,27).
**

10. LIGHT-CONE FIELD THEORY 197

10. LIGHT-CONE FIELD THEORY

**In this chapter we extend the discussion of sect. 2.1 to the string and consider
**

interacting contributions to the Poincaré algebra of sect. 7.1 along the lines of the

Yang-Mills case treated in sect. 2.3.

For the string [10.1,9.5,10.2], it’s convenient to use a ﬁeld Φ[X i (σ), p+ , τ ], since

p+ is the length of the string. This X for σ ∈ [0, πp+ ] is related to that in (7.1.7) for

p+ = 1 by X(σ, p+ ) = X(σ/p+ , 1). The hermiticity condition on the (open-string)

ﬁeld is

Φ[X i (σ), p+ , τ ] = Φ† [X i (πp+ − σ), −p+ , τ ] . (10.1a)

The same relation holds for the closed string, but we may replace πp+ − σ with just

−σ, since the closed string has the residual gauge invariance σ → σ + constant,

which is ﬁxed by the constraint (or gauge choice) ∆NΦ = 0. (See (7.1.12). In

loops, this gauge choice can be implemented either by projection operators or by

Faddeev-Popov ghosts.) As described in sect. 5.1, this charge-conjugation condition

corresponds to a combination of ordinary complex conjugation (τ reversal) with a

twist (matrix transposition combined with σ reversal). The twist eﬀectively acts as a

charge-conjugation matrix in σ space, in the sense that expressions involving tr Φ† Φ

acquire such a factor if reexpressed in terms of just Φ and not Φ† (and (10.1a) looks

like a reality condition for a group for which the twist is the group metric). Here

Φ is an N×N matrix, and the odd mass levels of the string (including the massless

Yang-Mills sector) are in the adjoint representation of U(N), SO(N), or USp(N) (for

even N) [10.3], where in the latter 2 cases the ﬁeld also satisﬁes the reality condition

ηΦ = (ηΦ)* , (10.1b)

**where η is the group metric (symmetric for SO(N), antisymmetric for USp(N)). The
**

fact that the latter cases use the operation of τ reversal separately, or, by combining

with (10.1a), the twist separately, means that they describe nonoriented strings: The

string ﬁeld is constrained to be invariant under a twist. The same is true for closed

strings (although closed strings have no group theory, so the choice of oriented vs.

198 10. LIGHT-CONE FIELD THEORY

**nonoriented is arbitrary, and η = 1 in (10.1b)). The twist operator can be deﬁned
**

similarly for superstrings, including heterotic strings. For general open strings the

twist is most simply written in terms of the hatted operators, on which it acts as

Ô(σ) → Ô(σ − π) (i.e., as eiπN ). For general closed strings, it takes Ô(±) (σ) →

Ô(±) (−σ). (For closed strings, σ → σ − π is irrelevant, since ∆N = 0.)

**Light-cone superstring ﬁelds [10.2] also satisfy the reality condition (in place of
**

(10.1b), generalizing (5.4.32)) that the Fourier transform with respect to Θa is equal

to the complex conjugate (which is the analog of a certain condition on covariant

superﬁelds)

Θa Πa p+ /2

DΘ e ηΦ[Θa ] = ηΦ[Π̄a ] * . (10.1c)

**Θa has a mode expansion like that of the ghost C or the spinning string’s Ψ̂ (of
**

the fermionic sector). The ground-state of the open superstring is described by the

light-cone superﬁeld of (5.4.35), which is a function of the zero-modes of all the

above coordinates. Thus, the lowest-mass (massless) sector of the open superstring

is supersymmetric Yang-Mills.

**The free action of the bosonic open string is [10.1,9.5]
**

∞ ∞

† ∂

S0 = − DX i dp+ dτ tr Φ p+ i +H Φ ,

−∞ −∞ ∂τ

2πα p+ πp+

2

dσ 1 δ 1 2 dσ 1 2 pi 2 + M 2

H= 2 −α + X i − 1 = ( 2 P i − 1) = .

0 2π δX i 2 α −πp+ 2π 2p+

(10.2)

The free ﬁeld equation is therefore just the quantum mechanical Schrödinger equation.

∞

(The p+ integral can also be written as 2 0 , due to the hermiticity condition. This

form also holds for closed strings, with H the sum of 2 open-string ones, as described

in sec. 7.1.) Similar remarks apply to superstrings (using (7.3.13)).

**As in the ﬁrst-quantized approach, interactions are described by splitting and
**

joining of strings, but now the graph gets chopped up into propagators and vertices:

1

3 6

→ 2 5

4 7

10. LIGHT-CONE FIELD THEORY 199

**The 3-open-string vertex is then just a δ functional setting 1 string equal to 2 others,
**

represented by an inﬁnitesimal strip in the world sheet. The interaction term in

the action is given by (9.2.23) for Z = X. The 3-closed-string vertex is a similar δ

functional for 3 closed strings, which can be represented as the product of 2 open-

string δ functionals, since the closed-string coordinates can be represented as the

sum of 2 open-string coordinates (one clockwise and one counterclockwise, but with

the same zero-modes). This vertex generally requires an integration over the σ of

the integration point (since closed strings can join anywhere, not having any ends,

corresponding to the gauge invariance σ → σ+constant), but the equivalent operation

of projection onto ∆N = 0 can be absorbed into the propagators.

**General vertices can be obtained by considering similar slicings of surfaces with
**

general global topologies [10.2,9.7]. There are 2 of order g, corresponding locally to a

splitting or joining:

↔

'$'$

↔

&%&%

**The former is the 3-open-string vertex. The existence of the latter is implied by
**

the former via the nonplanar loop graph (see sect. 9.3). The rest are order g 2 , and

correspond locally to 2 strings touching their middles and switching halves:

@

@

@

@ @

@ ↔

@

@@ @

@@

'$

'$

↔

&%

&%

200 10. LIGHT-CONE FIELD THEORY

'$'$

↔

&%&%

' $'$

'

& %

$

↔ &

'$%

& %&%

'$

' $

&%

'

& %

$

↔ '$

& %

&%

The type-I (SO(32) open-closed) theory has all these vertices, but the type-IIAB and

heterotic theories have only the last one, since they have only closed strings, and

they are oriented (clockwise modes are distinguishable from counterclockwise). If the

type-I theory is treated as a theory of fundamental open strings (with closed strings

as bound states, so h̄ can be deﬁned), then we have only the ﬁrst of the order-g

vertices and the ﬁrst of the order-g 2.

**The light-cone quantization of the spinning string follows directly from the cor-
**

responding bosonic formalism by the 1D supersymmetrization described in sect. 7.2.

In particular, in such a formalism the vertices require no factors besides the δ func-

tionals [10.4]. (In converting to a non-superﬁeld formalism, integration of the vertex

over θ produces a vertex factor.) However, the projection (7.2.5) must be put in by

hand. Also, the fact that boundary conditions can be either of 2 types (for bosons

vs. fermions) must be kept in mind.

**The interactions of the light-cone superstring [10.2] are done as for the light-cone
**

bosonic string, but there are extra factors. For example, for the 3-open-string vertex

10. LIGHT-CONE FIELD THEORY 201

**(the interacting contribution to p− ), we have the usual δ-functionals times
**

δ δ δ δ δ δ

V (p− ) = P L + 12 P̄ ab + 1

24 P̄ L C

abcd

, (10.3a)

δΘa δΘb δΘa δΘb δΘc δΘd

evaluated at the splitting point. The interacting contributions to q − are given by the

same overlap δ-functionals times the vertex factors

δ δ δ δ

V (q −a ) = , V (q̄ − a ) = 16 C abcd . (10.3b)

δΘa δΘb δΘc δΘd

(The euphoric notation for q is as in sect. 5.4 for d.) These are evaluated as in (9.2.28),

where P and δ/δΘ have weight w = 1. Their form is determined by requiring that the

supersymmetry algebra be maintained. The δ functional part is given as in (9.2.27),

but now the ∆ of (9.2.14) instead of just (9.2.15) is

1 δ

∆= 2 ∆(P̌ , P̌ ) − ∆ Θ̌ , . (10.4)

δ Θ̌

**As for the bosonic string, the closed-superstring vertex is the product of 2 open-
**

string ones (including 2 factors of the form (10.3a) for type I or II but just 1 for

the heterotic, and integrated over σ). For the general interactions above, all order-g

interactions have a single open-string vertex factor, while all order-g 2 have 2, since

the interactions of each order are locally all the same. The vertex factor is either 1

or (10.3a), depending on whether the corresponding set of modes is bosonic or super-

symmetric. When these superstring theories are truncated to their ground states, the

factor (10.3a) keeps only the zero-mode contributions, which is the usual light-cone,

3-point vertex for supersymmetric Yang-Mills, and the product of 2 such factors (for

closed strings) is the usual vertex for supergravity.

**The second-quantized interacting Poincaré algebra for the light-cone string can
**

be obtained perturbatively. For example,

[p− , J −i ] = 0 →

[p(2) − , J (2) −i ] = 0 , (10.5a)

[p(3) − , J (2) −i ] + [p(2) − , J (3) −i ] = 0 , (10.5b)

**etc., where (n) indicates the order in ﬁelds (see sect. 2.4). The solution to (10.5a)
**

is known from the free theory. The solution to (10.5b) can be obtained from known

results for the ﬁrst-quantized theory [1.4,10.5]: The ﬁrst term represents the invari-

ance of the 3-point interaction of the hamiltonian under free Lorentz transformations.

202 10. LIGHT-CONE FIELD THEORY

**The fact that this invariance holds only on-shell is an expected consequence of the
**

fact that the second term in (10.5b) is simply the commutator of the free hamiltonian

with the interaction correction to the Lorentz generator. Thus, the algebra of the

complete interacting generators closes oﬀ shell as well as on, and the explicit form of

J (3) −i follows from the expression for nonclosure given in [1.4,10.5]:

J (3) − i (1, 2, 3) = −2igX r i (σint )δ p+ ∆[X i ] , (10.6)

**where “r” denotes any of the three strings and ∆ represents the usual overlap-integral
**

δ-functionals with splitting point σ IN T . This is the analog of the generalization of

(2.3.5) to the interacting scalar particle, where p− φ → −(1/2p+ )(pi 2 φ + φ2 ). Since

p− also contains a 4-point interaction, there is a similar contribution to J (2) −i (i.e.,

(10.6) with ∆ replaced by the corresponding 3-string product derived from the 4-

string light-cone vertex in p− , and g replaced with g 2 , but otherwise the same nor-

malization). Explicit second-quantized operator calculations show that this closes the

algebra [10.6]. Similar constructions apply to superstrings [10.7].

Covariant string rules can be obtained from the light-cone formalism in the same

way as in sect. 2.6, and p+ now also represents the string length [2.7]. Thus, from

(10.2) we get the free action, in terms of a ﬁeld Φ[X a (σ), X α (σ), p+ , τ ],

∞ ∞

† ∂

S0 = − a

DX DX α

dp+ dτ tr Φ p+ i +H Φ ,

−∞ −∞ ∂τ

πp+

dσ δ2 δ δ 1

H= 1

2 −α a2

+ + X a2 + X α X α − 1 .

0 2π δX δX α δX α α

(10.7)

The vertex is again a δ functional, in all variables.

The light-cone formalism for heterotic string ﬁeld theory has also been developed,

and can be extended to further types of compactiﬁcations [10.8].

Unfortunately, the interacting light-cone formalism is not completely understood,

even for the bosonic string. There are certain kinds of contact terms which must

be added to the superstring action and supersymmetry generators to insure lower-

boundedness of the energy (supersymmetry implies positivity of the energy) and

cancel divergences in scattering amplitudes due to coincidence of vertex operator

factors [10.9], and some of these terms have been found. (Similar problems have

appeared in the covariant spinning string formulation of the superstring: see sect.

12.2.) This problem is particularly evident for closed strings, which were thought to

have only cubic interaction terms, which are insuﬃcient to bound the potential in

Exercises 203

**a formalism with only physical polarizations. Furthermore, the closed-string bound
**

states which have been found to follow at one loop from open-string theories by

explicitly applying unitarity to tree graphs do not seem to follow from the light-

cone ﬁeld theory rules [10.1]. Since unitarity requires that 1-loop corrections are

uniquely determined by tree graphs, the implication is that the present light-cone

ﬁeld theory action is incomplete, or that the rules following from it have not been

correctly applied. It is interesting to note that the type of graph needed to give

the correct closed-string poles resembles the so-called Z-graph of ordinary light-cone

ﬁeld theory [10.10], which contains a line backward-moving in x+ when the light-cone

formalism is obtained as an ultrarelativistic limit, becoming an instantaneous line

when the limit is reached.

Exercises

**I can’t think of any.
**

204 11. BRST FIELD THEORY

11. BRST FIELD THEORY

11.1. Closed strings

**Since the gauge-invariant actions for free open strings follow directly from the
**

methods of sects. 3.4-5 using the algebras of chapt. 8 (for the bosonic and fermionic

cases, using either OSp(1,1|2) or IGL(1) algebras), we will consider here just closed

strings, after a few general remarks.

**Other string actions have been proposed which lack the complete set of Stueck-
**

elberg ﬁelds [11.1], and as a result they are expected to suﬀer from problems similar

to those of covariant “unitary” gauges in spontaneously broken gauge theories: no

simple Klein-Gordon-type propagator, nonmanifest renormalizability, and singular-

ity of semiclassical solutions, including those representing spontaneous breakdown.

Further attempts with nonlocal, higher-derivative, or incomplete actions appeared

in [11.2]. Equivalent gauge-invariant actions for the free Ramond string have been

obtained by several groups [4.13-15,11.3]. The action of [11.3] is related to the rest

by a unitary transformation: It has factors involving coordinates which are evaluated

at the midpoint of the string, whereas the others involve corresponding zero-modes.

**For open or closed strings, the hermiticity condition (10.1a) now requires that
**

the ghost coordinates also be twisted: In the IGL(1) formalism (where the ghost

coordinates are momenta)

Φ[X(σ), C(σ), C(σ)]

= Φ† [X(π − σ), −C(π − σ), C(π − σ)] (11.1.1a)

**(C gets an extra “−” because the twist is σ reversal, and C carries a σ index in the
**

mechanics action), and in the OSp(1,1|2) formalism we just extend (10.1a):

Φ[X a (σ), X α (σ), p+ ] = Φ† [X a (πp+ − σ), X α (πp+ − σ), −p+ ] . (11.1.1b)

**As in the light-cone formalism (see sect. 10.1), for discussing free theories, we scale
**

σ by p+ in (11.1.1b), so the twist then takes σ → π − σ. (For the closed string the

11.1. Closed strings 205

**twist is σ → −σ, so in both (11.1.1a) and (11.1.1b) the arguments of the coordinates
**

are just −σ on the right-hand side.)

In the rest of this section we will consider closed strings only. First we show how

to extend the OSp(1,1|2) formalism to closed strings [4.10]. By analogy to (4.1.1),

the kinetic operator for the closed string is a δ function in IOSp(1,1|2):

S= dD xd2 xα dx− d2 ∆pα d∆p+ Φ† p+ 2 δ(J AB )δ(∆pA ) Φ ,

δΦ = 12 J AB ΛBA + ∆pA ΛA , (11.1.2)

**where, as in (7.1.17), the Poincaré generators J AB and pA are given as sums, and
**

∆pA as diﬀerences, of the left-handed and right-handed versions of the open-string

generators of (7.1.14). The Hilbert-space metric necessary for hermiticity is now

p+ 2 (or equivalently p+ (+) p+ (−) ), since a factor of p+ is needed for the open-string

modes of each handedness. For simplicity, we do not take the physical momenta pa

to be doubled here, since the IOSp(1,1|2) algebra closes regardless, but they can be

doubled if the corresponding δ functions and integrations are included in (11.1.2).

More explicitly, the δ function in the Poincaré group is given by

δ(J AB )δ(∆pA ) = δ(J αβ 2 )iδ(J −+ )δ 2 (J +α )δ 2 (J −α )δ(∆p− )δ 2 (∆pα )δ(∆p+ ) . (11.1.3)

**To establish the invariance of (11.1.2), the fact that (4.1.1) is invariant indicates that
**

it’s suﬃcient to show that δ(J AB ) commutes with δ(∆pA ). This follows from the fact

that each of the J AB ’s commutes with δ(∆pA ). We interpret δ(∆p− ) = p+ δ(∆N)

in the presence of the other δ(∆p)’s, where δ(∆N) is a Kronecker δ, and the other

δ(∆p)’s are Dirac δ’s.

All the nontrivial terms are contained in the δ 2 (J −α ). As in the open-string case,

dependence on the gauge coordinates xα and x− is eliminated by the δ 2 (J +α ) and

δ(J −+ ) on the left, and further terms are killed by δ(J αβ 2 ). Similarly, dependence

on ∆pα and ∆p+ is eliminated by the corresponding δ functions on the right, and

further terms are killed by δ(∆p− ). For convenience, the latter elimination should be

1

done before the former. After making the redeﬁnition Φ → p+

Φ and integrating out

the unphysical zero-modes, the action is similar to the OSp(1,1|2) case:

S= dD x 12 φ† δ(∆N)δ(M αβ 2 ) 2 − M 2 + (M α a pa + M αm M)2 φ ,

δφ = (M αa pa + M α m M)Λα + 12 M αβ Λαβ + ∆NΛ . (11.1.4)

**This is the minimal form of the closed-string action.
**

206 11. BRST FIELD THEORY

**The nonminimal form is obtained by analogy to the IGL(1) formalism, in the
**

same way OSp(1,1|2) was extended to IOSp(1,1|2): Using a δ function in the closed-

string group GL(1|1) of sect. 8.2 (found from sums and diﬀerences of the expressions

in (8.2.6), as in (7.1.17)), we obtain the action (with ∆p− → ∆N)

S= dD xdcd∆pc̃ Φ† iQδ(J 3 )δ(∆pc̃ )δ(∆N) Φ ,

δΦ = QΛ + J 3 Λ̀ + ∆N Λ̃ + ∆pc̃ Λ̌ , (11.1.5)

or, after integrating out ∆pc̃ , with Φ = φ + ∆pc̃ ψ,

S= J3 )δ(∆N) φ ,

dD xdc φ† iQδ(

+ J3 Λ̀ + ∆N Λ̃ ,

δφ = QΛ (11.1.6)

where the ’s indicate that all terms involving ∆pc̃ and its canonical conjugate have

been dropped. The ﬁeld φ = ϕ + cχ is commuting.

For the gauge-ﬁxing in the GL(1|1) formalism above (or the equivalent one from

ﬁrst-quantization), we now choose [4.5]

∂ ∂ ∂

O = −2∆p c̃

c, → K = ∆p c̃

c(2 − M ) − 4M

2 +

− 2∆N c, ,

∂c ∂c ∂c

(11.1.7)

where we have used

∂ ∂

Q = −i 14 c(p2 + M 2 ) + i 12 M +

− i∆N + i 12 ∆M + ∆pc̃ + Q+ . (11.1.8)

∂c ∂∆pc̃

Expanding the string ﬁeld over the ghost zero-modes,

**Φ = (φ + icφ) + i∆pc̃ (ψ̂ + cφ̂) , (11.1.9)
**

1 †

we substitute into the lagrangian L = 2 Φ KΦ and integrate over the ghost zero

modes:

∂ ∂

c̃

L = 12 φ† (2 − M 2 )φ + 2ψ † M + ψ + 4i(φ̂† ∆Nφ + iψ̂ † ∆Nψ) . (11.1.10)

∂c ∂∆p

φ contains propagating ﬁelds, ψ contains BRST auxiliary ﬁelds, and φ̂ and ψ̂ contain

lagrange multipliers which constrain ∆N = 0 for the other ﬁelds. Although the

propagating ﬁelds are completely gauge-ﬁxed, the BRST auxiliary ﬁelds again have

the gauge transformations

δψ = λ , M +λ = 0 , (11.1.11a)

and the lagrange multipliers have the gauge transformations

**δ φ̂ = λ̂φ , δ ψ̂ = λ̂ψ ; ∆N λ̂φ = ∆N λ̂ψ = 0 . (11.1.11b)
**

11.2. Components 207

11.2. Components

**To get a better understanding of the gauge-invariant string action in terms of more
**

familiar particle actions, we now expand the string action over some of the lower-mass

component ﬁelds, using the algebras of chapt. 8 in the formalism of sect. 4. All of

these results can also be derived by simply identifying the reducible representations

which appear in the light-cone, and then using the component methods of sect. 4.1.

However, here we’ll work directly with string oscillators, and not decompose the

reducible representations, for purposes of comparison.

As an example of how components appear in the IGL(1) quantization, the mass-

less level of the open string is given by (cf. (4.4.6))

Φ = (Aa aa † + Cα aα † ) + icBac̃† |0

, (11.2.1)

**where aα = (ac , ac̃ ), all oscillators are for the ﬁrst mode, and we have used (4.4.5).
**

The lagrangian and BRST transformations then agree with (3.2.8,11) for ζ = 1. In

order to obtain particle actions directly without having to eliminate BRST auxiliary

ﬁelds, from now on we work with only the OSp(1,1|2) formalism. (By the arguments

of sect. 4.2, the IGL(1) formalism gives the same actions after elimination of BRST

auxiliary ﬁelds.)

As described in sect. 4.1, auxiliary ﬁelds which come from the ghost sector are

crucial for writing local gauge-invariant actions. (These auxiliary ﬁelds have the same

dimension as the physical ﬁelds, unlike the BRST auxiliary ﬁelds, which are 1 unit

higher in dimension and have algebraic ﬁeld equations.) Let’s consider the counting

of these auxiliary ﬁelds. This requires ﬁnding the number of Sp(2) singlets that can

be constructed out of the ghost oscillators at each mass level. The Sp(2) singlet

constructed from two isospinor creation operators is am α† anα † , which we denote as

(mn). A general auxiliary ﬁeld is obtained by applying to the vacuum some nonzero

number of these pairs together with an arbitrary number of bosonic creation operators.

The ﬁrst few independent products of pairs of fermionic operators, listed by eigenvalue

of the number operator N, are:

0 : I

1 : −

2 : (11)

3 : (12)

208 11. BRST FIELD THEORY

4 : (13) , (22)

5 : (14) , (23)

6 : (15) , (24) , (33) , (11)(22) (11.2.2)

**where I is the identity and no operator exists at level 1. The number of independent
**

products of singlets at each level is given by the partition function

1

)∞

n=2 (1 − x )

n

= 1+x2 +x3 +2x4 +2x5 +4x6 +4x7 +7x8 +8x9 +12x10 +14x11 +21x12 +· · · , (11.2.3)

**corresponding to the states generated by a single bosonic coordinate missing its zeroth
**

and ﬁrst modes, as described in sect. 8.1.

**We now expand the open string up to the third mass level (containing a massive,
**

symmetric, rank-2 tensor) and the closed string up to the second mass level (contain-

ing the graviton) [4.1]. The mode expansions of the relevant operators are given by

(8.2.1). Since the δ(M αβ 2 ) projector keeps only the Sp(2)-singlet terms, we ﬁnd that

up to the third mass level the expansion of φ is

φ = [φ0 + Aa a† 1a

+ 12 hab a† 1a a† 1b + B a a† 2a + η(a1α † )2 ] |0

. (11.2.4)

**Here φ0 is the tachyon, Aa is the massless vector, and (hab , B a , η) describe the massive,
**

symmetric, rank-two tensor. It’s now straightforward to use (8.2.1) to evaluate the

action (4.1.6):

L = L−1 + L0 + L1 ; (11.2.5)

L−1 = 12 φ0 (2 + 2)φ0 , (11.2.6a)

L0 = 12 A · 2 A + 12 (∂ · A)2 = − 14 F 2 , (11.2.6b)

L1 = 14 hab (2 − 2)hab + 12 B · (2 − 2)B − 12 η(2 − 2)η

+ 12 (∂ b hab + ∂ a η − B a )2 + 12 ( 14 ha a + 32 η + ∂ · B)2 . (11.2.6c)

**The gauge transformations are obtained by expanding (4.1.6). The pieces involv-
**

ing Λαβ are trivial in the component viewpoint, since they are the ones that reduce

the components of φ to the Sp(2) singlets given in (11.2.4). Since then only the Sp(2)

11.2. Components 209

**singlet part of Qα Λα can contribute, only the (M αβ ) isospinor sector of Λα is relevant.
**

We therefore take

Λα = (ξa1α † +

a a1a † a1α † +

a2α † ) |0

. (11.2.7)

Then the invariances are found to be

δAa = ∂ a ξ ; (11.2.8a)

1

δhab = ∂ (a

b) − √ η ab

,

2

√

δB a = ∂ a

+ 2

a ,

3

δη = −∂ ·

+ √

. (11.2.8b)

2

(11.2.6b) and (11.2.8a) are the usual action and gauge invariance for a free photon;

however, (11.2.6c) and (11.2.8b) are not in the standard form for massive, symmetric

rank two. Letting

+

hab = h 1 a −

η = − 12 h 3

ab 10 η ab η , a 10 η ; (11.2.9)

one ﬁnds

√ √

=∂

δh , δB a = ∂ a

+ 2

a , δ η = −5 2

. (11.2.10)

ab (a b)

In this form it’s clear that η and B a are Stueckelberg ﬁelds that can be gauged away

by

and

a . (This was not possible for η, since the presence of the ∂ ·

term in

its transformation law (11.2.8b) would require propagating Faddeev-Popov ghosts.)

In this gauge L1 reduces to the Fierz-Pauli lagrangian for a massive, symmetric,

rank-two tensor:

ab 2 h

b ab ) − 2 (∂ b h )∂ a h c − 4 h a 2 h b − 4 (h hab − h a ) . (11.2.11)

L = 14 h + 1 (∂ h

2 1 ab c 1 a b 1 ab a 2

ab 2

**The closed string is treated similarly, so we’ll consider only the tachyon and
**

massless levels. The expansion of the physical closed-string ﬁeld to the second mass

level is

φ = (φ0 + hab a+ 1a † a− 1b † + Aab a+ 1a † a− 1b † + ηa+ 1 α† a− 1α † ) |0

, (11.2.12)

**where φ0 is the tachyon and hab , Aab , and η describe the massless sector, consisting
**

of the graviton, an antisymmetric tensor, and the dilaton. We have also dropped

210 11. BRST FIELD THEORY

**ﬁelds which are killed by the projection operator for ∆N. We then ﬁnd for the action
**

(11.1.4):

L = L−2 + L0 ;

L−2 = 12 φ0 (2 + 4)φ0 ,

L0 = 14 hab 2 hab + 14 Aab 2 Aab − 12 η 2 η

+ 12 (∂ b hab + ∂ a η)2 + 12 (∂ b Aab )2 . (11.2.13)

The nontrivial gauge transformations are found from (11.1.4):

δhab = ∂ (a

b) , δAab = ∂ [a ζ b] , δη = ∂ ·

. (11.2.14)

These lead to the ﬁeld redeﬁnitions

+ η η ,

hab = h a

η = η + 12 h ; (11.2.15)

ab ab a

which result in the improved gauge transformations

=∂

δh , δAab = ∂ [a ζ b] , δ η = 0 . (11.2.16)

ab (a b)

**Substituting back into (11.2.13), we ﬁnd the covariant action for a tachyon, linearized
**

Einstein gravity, an antisymmetric tensor, and a dilaton [4.10].

**The formulation with the world-sheet metric (sect. 8.3) uses more gauge and
**

auxiliary degrees of freedom than even the IGL(1) formulation. We begin with the

open string [3.13]. If we evaluate the kinetic operator for the gauge-invariant action

2 → !∞ (b † O +

(4.1.6) between states without fermionic oscillators, we ﬁnd Q 1 n n

**On † bn ), so the kinetic operator reduces to
**

∞

1

δ(M αβ 2 2)

)(−2K + Q → −2K(1 − N GB ) + † +L

−bn bn + √ (bn † L †b ) ,

n n n

1 n

∞

N GB = (bn † g n + g n † bn ) , (11.2.17)

1

. The operator N

dropping the f and c terms in K and L †

n GB counts the number of g ’s

**plus b† ’s in a state (without factors of n). We now evaluate the ﬁrst few component
**

levels. The evaluation of the tachyon action is trivial:

φ = ϕ(x) |0

→ L = 12 ϕ(2 + 2)ϕ , (11.2.18)

11.2. Components 211

where S = d26 x L. For the photon, expanding in only Sp(2) singlets,

φ = (A · a1 † + Bg 1 † + Gb1 † ) |0

→

L = 12 A · 2 A − 12 B2 − B∂ · A = − 14 F ab 2 − 12 (B + ∂ · A)2 . (11.2.19)

The disappearance of G follows from the gauge transformations

Λα = (f 1α † λc + c1α † λf ) |0

→

δ(A, B, G) = (∂λc , −2 λc , λf − 12 λc ) . (11.2.20)

**Since G is the only ﬁeld gauged by λf , no gauge-invariant can be constructed from
**

it, so it must drop out of the action.

**For the next level, we consider the gauge transformations ﬁrst in order to deter-
**

mine which ﬁelds will drop out of the action so that its calculation will be simpliﬁed.

The Sp(2) singlet part of the ﬁeld is

**φ = ( 12 hab a1a † a1b † + ha a2a † + Ba g 1 † a1a † + Ga b1 † a1a †
**

†2 + Gb †2 + Bg † + Gb

+ hg 1 † b1 † + Bg † + η f †2 + η c †2 + η f α† c † ) |0

.

1 1 2 2 + 1 − 1 0 1 1α

(11.2.21)

**The only terms in Λα which contribute to the transformation of the Sp(2) singlets are
**

Λα = (λcp · a† 1 + λcb g †1 + λcg b† 1 )f † 1α + (λf p · a† 1 + λf b g † 1 + λf g b† 1 )c† 1α

† †

+ λc f 2α + λf c 2α 0 . (11.2.22)

**The gauge transformations of the components are then
**

1

δhab = ∂ (a λcp b) − η ab √ λc ,

2

√ cp

δha = 2λ a + ∂ a λc ,

δBa = ∂ a λcb + 2Kλcp a ,

**δGa = − 12 λcp a + λf p a + ∂ a λcg ,
**

1

δh = √ λc − 12 λcb + λf b + 2Kλcg ,

2

= 2Kλ

δB ,

cb

δG = − 12 λcg + λf g ,

212 11. BRST FIELD THEORY

√

δB = 2λcb + 2Kλc ,

√

= − 1 λ + λ + 2λ

δG ,

2 c f cg

δη + = λcb ,

√

δη − = 2λf − 12 λf b − ∂ · λf p + 2Kλf g ,

√

δη 0 = 2λc − 14 λcb + 12 λf b − 12 ∂ · λcp + Kλcg . (11.2.23)

We then gauge away

Ga = 0 → λf p a = 12 λcp a − ∂ a λcg ,

G =0 → λf g = 12 λcg ,

η+ = 0 → λcb = 0 ,

1 1 1

η− = 0 → λf = √ λf b + √ ∂ · λcp − √ (2 + K)λcg ,

2 2 2 2 2

√

η0 = 0 → λf b = −2 2λc + ∂ · λcp − 2Kλcg . (11.2.24)

The transformation laws of the remaining ﬁelds are

δhab = ∂ (a λb) − η ab λ ,

√

δha = 2(λa + ∂ a λ) ,

δh = −3λ + ∂ · λ ,

δBa = −(2 − 2)λa ,

√

δB = − 2(2 − 2)λ ,

δB =0 ,

= √ 1

δG (−3λ + ∂ · λ) , (11.2.25)

2

√

where λa = λcp a and λ = λc / 2. λcg drops out of the transformation law as a result

of the gauge invariance for gauge invariance

αΛ

δφ = Q → βΛ

δΛα = Q . (11.2.26)

α (αβ)

The lagrangian can then be computed from (4.1.6) and (11.2.17) to be

L = 14 hab (2 − 2)hab + 12 ha (2 − 2)ha − 12 h(2 − 2)h

√

− 12 Ba 2 − 12 B2 + 2B( − h)

2G

√ 3 1

+ Ba (−∂ b hab + ∂ a h + 2ha ) + B(−∂ · h + √ h − √ ha a ) . (11.2.27)

2 2 2

11.2. Components 213

**The lagrangian of (11.2.19) is equivalent to that obtained from the IGL(1) action,
**

whereas the lagrangian of (11.2.27) is like the IGL(1) one but contains in addition

√

and 2G

the 2 gauge-invariant auxiliary ﬁelds B − h. Both reduce to the OSp(1,1|2)

lagrangians after elimination of auxiliary ﬁelds.

**The results for the closed string are similar. Here we consider just the massless
**

level of the nonoriented closed string (which is symmetric under interchange of + and

− modes). The Sp(2) and ∆N invariant components are

φ = (hab a† +a a† −a + B a g †(+ a† −)a + Ga b† (+ a† −)a + hg † (+ b† −) + Bg † + g †− + Gb† + b† −

+ η + f † + α f † −α + η − c† + α c† −α + η 0 f † (+ α c† −)α ) |0

, (11.2.28)

**where all oscillators are from the ﬁrst mode (n = 1), and hab is symmetric. The gauge
**

parameters are

Λα = (λcp · a† + λcb g † + λcg b† )(+ f † −)α + (λf p · a† + λf b g † + λf g b† )(+ c† −)α |0

.

(11.2.29)

The component transformations are then

δhab = ∂ (a λcp b) ,

δB a = ∂ a λcb − 12 2 λcp a ,

δGa = 2λf p a − λcp a + ∂ a λcg ,

δh = 2λf b − λcb − 12 2 λcg ,

δB = −2 λcb ,

δG = 4λf g − 2λcg ,

δη + = 2λcb ,

δη − = −λf b − ∂ · λf p − 12 2 λf g ,

δη 0 = λf b − 12 λcb − 12 ∂ · λcp − 14 2 λcg . (11.2.30)

We choose the gauges

Ga = 0 → λf p a = 12 λcp a − 12 ∂ a λcg ,

G =0 → λf g = 12 λcg ,

η+ = 0 → λcb = 0 ,

η0 = 0 → λf b = 12 ∂ · λcp + 14 2 λcg . (11.2.31)

214 11. BRST FIELD THEORY

The remaining ﬁelds transform as

δhab = ∂ (a λb) ,

δB a = − 12 2 λa ,

δh = ∂ · λ ,

δB = 0 ,

δη − = −∂ · λ , (11.2.32)

where λa = λcp a , and λcg drops out. Finally, the lagrangian is

L = 12 hab 2 hab − h2 h − 4B a 2 − 8B(η − + h) − 4B a (∂ b hab − ∂ a h) . (11.2.33)

**Again we ﬁnd the auxiliary ﬁelds B and η − + h in addition to the usual nonminimal
**

ones. After elimination of auxiliary ﬁelds, this lagrangian reduces to that of (11.2.13)

(for the nonoriented sector, up to normalization of the ﬁelds).

Exercises

**(1) Derive the gauge-invariant actions (IGL(1) and OSp(1,1|2)) for free open strings.
**

Do the same for the Neveu-Schwarz string. Derive the OSp(1,1|2) action for the

Ramond string.

**(2) Find all the Sp(2)-singlet ﬁelds at the levels indicated in (11.2.2). Separate them
**

into sets corresponding to irreducible representations of the Poincaré group (in-

cluding their Stueckelberg and auxiliary ﬁelds).

**(3) Derive the action for the massless level of the open string using the bosonized
**

ghosts of sect. 8.1.

**(4) Derive the action for the next mass level of the closed string after those in
**

(11.2.13). Do the same for (11.2.33).

**(5) Rederive the actions of sect. 11.2 for levels which include spin 2 by ﬁrst decompos-
**

ing the corresponding light-cone representations into irreducible representations,

and then using the Hilbert-space constructions of sect. 4.1 for each irreducible

representation.

12.1. Introduction 215

**12. GAUGE-INVARIANT
**

INTERACTIONS

12.1. Introduction

**The gauge-invariant forms of the interacting actions for string ﬁeld theories are far
**

from understood. Interacting closed string ﬁeld theory does not yet exist. (Although

a proposal has been made [12.1], it is not even at the point where component actions

can be examined.) An open-string formulation exists [4.8] (see the following section),

but it does not seem to relate to the light-cone formulation (chapt. 10), and has more

complicated vertices. Furthermore, all these formulations are in the IGL(1) formalism,

so relation to particles is less direct because of the need to eliminate BRST auxiliary

ﬁelds. Most importantly, the concept of conformal invariance is not clear in these

formulations. If a formulation could be found which incorporated the world-sheet

metric as coordinates, as the free theory of sect. 8.3, it might be possible to restore

conformal transformations as a larger gauge invariance which allowed the derivation

of the other formulations as (partial) gauge choices.

**In this section we will mostly discuss the status of the derivation of an interacting
**

gauge-covariant string theory from the light cone, with interactions similar to those of

the light-cone string ﬁeld theory. The derivation follows the corresponding derivation

for Yang-Mills described in sects. 3.4 and 4.2 [3.14], but the important step (3.4.17)

of eliminating p+ dependence has not yet been performed.

**As performed for Yang-Mills in sect. 3.4, the transformation (3.4.3a) with Φ →
**

−1

U Φ is the ﬁrst step in deriving an IGL(1) formalism for the interacting string from

the light cone. Since the transformation is nonunitary, the factor of p+ in (2.4.9) is

canceled. In (2.4.7), using integration by parts, (3.4.3a) induces the transformation

of the vertex function

1

V (n) → U(1) · · · U(n)V (n) , (12.1.1)

p+1 · · · p+n

216 12. GAUGE-INVARIANT INTERACTIONS

**where we work in momentum space with respect to p+ . The lowest-order interacting
**

contribution to Q then follows from applying this transformation to the OSp-extended

form of the light-cone vertex (10.6):

p+r

J (3) − c = −2ig X r c (σint ) δ p+ ∆[X a ] ∆[p+ X c ] ∆[p+ −1 X c̃ ] , (12.1.2)

p+1 p+2 p+3

**eﬀectively giving conformal weight -1 to X c and conformal weight 1 to X c̃ . A δ-
**

functional that matches a coordinate must also match the σ-derivative of the coordi-

nate, and with no zero-modes one must have

−1 σ σ σ

∆ p+ X c̃

= ∆ ∂σ p+ −1 X c̃ = ∆ p+ X −2 c̃

. (12.1.3)

p+ c̃=0 p+ p+

**(Even the normalization is unambiguous, since without zero-modes ∆ can be normal-
**

ized to 1 between ground states.) We now recognize X c and X c̃ to be just the usual

Faddeev-Popov ghost C(σ) of τ -reparametrizations and Faddeev-Popov anti ghost

δ/δ C(σ) of σ-reparametrizations (as in (8.1.13)), of conformal weights -1 and 2, re-

spectively, which is equivalent to the relation (8.2.2,3) (as seen by using (7.1.7b)).

Finally, we can (functionally) Fourier transform the antighost so that it is replaced

with the canonically conjugate ghost. Our ﬁnal vertex function is therefore

p+r

J (3) − c = −2ig C r (σint )δ

p+ ∆[X a ] ∆[p+ C] ∆[p+ C] , (12.1.4a)

p+1 p+2 p+3

or in terms of momenta

δ δ

J(3) c

− = −2igp+r C r (σint )δ −1

p+ ∆[p+ P ] ∆ p+a −2

∆ p+ −2 .

δC δC

(12.1.4b)

The extra p+ ’s disappear due to Fourier transformation of the zero-modes c:

1 −cpc̃

−cpc̃ /p+ ˜ pc̃

dc e f (p+ c) = dc e f (c) = f . (12.1.5)

p+ p+

**Equivalently, the exponent of U by (3.4.3a) is c∂/∂c + M 3 , so the zero-mode part
**

just scales c, but c∂/∂c = 1 − (∂/∂c)c, so besides scaling ∂/∂c there is an extra

factor of p+ for each zero-mode, canceling those in (12.1.1,2). There is no eﬀect on

the normalization with respect to nonzero-modes because of the above-mentioned

normalization in the deﬁnition of ∆ with respect to the creation and annihilation

operators. A similar analysis applies to closed strings [12.2].

**Hata, Itoh, Kugo, Kunitomo, and Ogawa [12.3] proposed an interacting BRST
**

operator equivalent to this one, and corresponding gauge-ﬁxed and gauge-invariant

12.2. Midpoint interaction 217

**actions, but with p+ treated as an extra coordinate as in [2.7]. (A similar earlier
**

attempt appeared in [4.9,7.5], with p+ ﬁxed, as a consequence of which the BRST

algebra didn’t close to all orders. Similar attempts appeared in [12.4].) However,

as explained in [2.7], such a formalism requires also an additional anticommuting

coordinate in order for the loops to work (as easily checked for the planar 1-loop

graph with external tachyons [2.7]), and can lead to problems with infrared behavior

[4.4].

The usual four-point vertex of Yang-Mills (and even-higher-point vertices of grav-

ity for the closed string) will be obtained only after ﬁeld redeﬁnitions of the massive

ﬁelds. This corresponds to the fact that it shows up in the zero-slope limit of the

S-matrix only after massive propagators have been included and reduced to points.

In terms of the Lagrangian, for arbitrary massive ﬁelds µ and massless ﬁelds ν, the

terms, for example,

L = 12 µ[2 + M 2 + M 2 U(ν)]µ + M 2 µV (ν) (12.1.6a)

**(where U(ν) and V (ν) represent some interaction terms) become, in the limit M 2 →
**

∞,

L = M 2 [ 12 (1 + U)µ2 + V µ] . (12.1.6b)

**The corresponding ﬁeld redeﬁnition is
**

V

µ = µ̃ − , (12.1.6c)

1+U

which modiﬁes the Lagrangian to

V2

L = 12 µ̃(2 + M 2 + M 2 U)µ̃ + 12 M 2 + O(M 0 ) . (12.1.6d)

1+U

The redeﬁned massive ﬁelds µ̃ no longer contribute in the zero-slope limit, and can

be dropped from the Lagrangian before taking the limit. However, the redeﬁnition

2

has introduced the new interaction term 12 M 2 1+U

V

into the ν-part of the Lagrangian.

12.2. Midpoint interaction

**Witten has proposed an extension of the IGL(1) gauge-invariant open bosonic
**

string action to the interacting case [4.8]. Although there may be certain limitations

with his construction, it shares certain general properties with the light-cone (and

covariantized light-cone) formalism, and thus we expect these properties will be com-

mon to any future approaches. The construction is based on the use of a vertex which

218 12. GAUGE-INVARIANT INTERACTIONS

**consists mainly of δ-functionals, as in the light-cone formalism. Although the geome-
**

try of the inﬁnitesimal surface corresponding to these δ-functionals diﬀers from that

of the light-cone case, they have certain algebraic features in common. In particular,

by considering a structure for which the δ-functional (times certain vertex factors)

is identiﬁed with the product operation of a certain algebra, the associativity of the

product follows from the usual properties of δ-functionals. This is suﬃcient to deﬁne

an interacting, nilpotent BRST operator (or Lorentz generators with [J −i , J −j ] = 0),

which in turn gives an interacting gauge-invariant (or Lorentz-invariant) action.

**The string ﬁelds are elements of an algebra: a vector space with an outer product ∗.
**

We write an explicit vector index on the string ﬁeld Φi , where i = Z(σ) is the co-

ordinates (X, C, C for the covariant formalism and X T , x± for the light cone), and

excludes group-theory indices. Then the product can be written in terms of a rank-3

matrix

(Φ ∗ Ψ)i = f i jk Φk Ψj . (12.2.1)

**In order to construct actions, and because of the relation of a ﬁeld to a ﬁrst-quantized
**

wave function, we require, in addition to the operations necessary to deﬁne an algebra,

a Hilbert-space inner product

Φ|Ψ

= DZ tr Φ† Ψ = tr Φi† Ψi , (12.2.2)

**where tr is the group-theory trace. Furthermore, in order to give the hermiticity
**

condition on the ﬁeld we require an indeﬁnite, symmetric charge-conjugation matrix

Ω on this space:

Φi = Ωij Φj † ,

(ΩΦ)[X(σ), C(σ), C(σ)]

≡ Φ[X(π − σ), C(π − σ), −C(π − σ)] .

(12.2.3a)

Ω is the “twist” of (11.1.1). To allow a reality condition or, combining with (12.2.3a),

a symmetry condition for real group representations (for SO(N) or USp(N)), we also

require that indices can be freely raised and lowered:

(ηΦ)i = Ωij δ jk (ηΦ)t k , (12.2.3b)

**where η is the group metric and t is the group-index transpose. In order to perform
**

the usual graphical manipulations implied by duality, the twist must have the usual

eﬀect on vertices, and thus on the inner product:

Ω(Φ ∗ Ψ) = (ΩΨ) ∗ (ΩΦ) . (12.2.4)

12.2. Midpoint interaction 219

**Further properties satisﬁed by the product follow from the nilpotence of the BRST
**

operator and integrability of the ﬁeld equations QΦ = 0: Deﬁning

QΦ = Q0 Φ + Φ ∗ Φ → (QΦ)i = Q0i j Φj + f i jk Φk Φj , (12.2.5)

S= DZ tr Φ† ( 12 Q0 Φ + 13 Φ ∗ Φ) = tr 1 ij

2 (ΩQ0 ) Φj Φi + 13 (Ωf )ijk Φk Φj Φi ,

(12.2.6)

we ﬁnd that hermiticity requires

(ΩQ0 )ij = (Q̄0 Ω)ji , ¯

(Ωf )ijk = (fΩΩ) kji

, (12.2.7)

integrability requires antisymmetry of Q0 and cyclicity of ∗:

(ΩQ0 )ij = −(ΩQ0 )ji , (Ωf )ijk = (Ωf )jki (12.2.8)

**(where permutation of indices is in the “graded” sense, but we have omitted some
**

signs: e.g., (ΩQ0 )ij Φj Ψi = +(ΩQ0 )ij Ψj Φi when Φ[Z] and Ψ[Z] are anticommuting,

but Φi and Ψi include components of either statistics), and nilpotence requires, besides

Q0 2 = 0, that ∗ is BRST invariant (i.e., Q0 is distributive over ∗) and associative:

Q0 (Φ ∗ Ψ) = (Q0 Φ) ∗ Ψ + Φ ∗ (Q0 Ψ)

↔ Q0i l (f ΩΩ)ljk + Q0j l (f ΩΩ)ilk + Q0k l (f ΩΩ)ijl = 0 , (12.2.9)

Φ ∗ (Ψ ∗ Υ) = (Φ ∗ Ψ) ∗ Υ ↔ (Ωf )ijm f m kl = (Ωf )jkmf m li (12.2.10)

**(where we have again ignored some signs due to grading). ∗ should also be invariant
**

under all transformations under conserved quantities, and thus the operators ∂/∂z ∼

**dσ ∂/∂Z must also be distributive over ∗.
**

At this point we have much more structure than in an ordinary algebra, and

only one more thing needs to be introduced in order to obtain a matrix algebra: an

identity element for the outer product

Φ∗I =I ∗Φ= Φ ↔ f i jk I k = δ i j . (12.2.11)

It’s not clear why string ﬁeld theory must have such an object, but both the light-cone

approach and Witten’s approach have one. In the light-cone approach the identity

element is the ground state (tachyon) at vanishing momentum (including the string

length, 2παp+ ), which is related to the fact that the vertex for an external tachyon

takes the simple form : e−ik·X(0) :. We now consider the ﬁelds as being matrices in

Z(σ)-space as well as in group space, although the vector space on which such matrices

220 12. GAUGE-INVARIANT INTERACTIONS

**act might not be (explicitly) deﬁned. (Such a formalism might be a consequence of
**

the same duality properties that require general matrix structure, as opposed to just

adjoint representation, in the group space.) ∗ is now the matrix product. (12.2.7,10)

then express just the usual hermiticity and associativity properties of the matrix

product. The trace operation T r of these matrices is implied by the Hilbert-space

inner product (12.2.2):

Φ|Ψ

= T r Φ† Ψ ↔ T r Φ = I|Φ

. (12.2.12)

**(12.2.8) states the usual cyclicity of the trace. Finally, the twist metric (12.2.3) is
**

identiﬁed with the matrix transpose, in addition to transposition in the group space,

as implied by (12.2.4). Using this transposition in combination with the usual her-

mitian conjugation to deﬁne the matrix complex conjugate, the hermiticity condition

(12.2.3a) becomes just hermiticity in the group space: Denoting the group-space

matrix indices as Φa b ,

Φa b = Φb a * . (12.2.13)

As a result of

It = I ↔ Ωij I j = I i (12.2.14)

**and the fact that Q0 and ∂/∂z are distributive as well as being “antisymmetric” (odd
**

under simultaneous twisting and integration by parts), we ﬁnd

∂

Q0 I = I=0 . (12.2.15)

∂z

**Given one ∗ product, it’s possible to deﬁne other associative products by com-
**

bining it with some operators d which are distributive over it. Thus, the condition of

associativity of and ∗ implies

A B = A ∗ dB → d2 = 0

A B = (dA) ∗ (dB) → d2 = d or d2 = 0 . (12.2.16)

**The former allows the introduction of conserved anticommuting factors (as for the
**

BRST open-string vertex), while the latter allows the introduction of projection op-

erators (as expected for closed strings with respect to ∆N).

The gauge transformations and action come directly from the interacting BRST

operator: Using the analysis of (4.2.17-21),

δΦ = ΛΦ, Q , Φ = Q0 Λ + [Φ, ∗Λ] , (12.2.17a)

c c

12.2. Midpoint interaction 221

where the last bracket is the commutator with respect to the ∗ product, and

1 †

S = −iQ = 2 Φ Q0 Φ + 13 Φ† (Φ ∗ Φ) , (12.2.17b)

where for physical ﬁelds we restrict to

J 3Φ = 0 , J 3 Λ = −Λ . (12.2.17c)

1

Gauge invariance follows from Q2 = 2 [Q, Q]c = 0. Actually, the projection onto

J 3 = 0 is somewhat redundant, since the other ﬁelds can be removed by gauge

transformations or nondynamical ﬁeld equations, at least at the classical level. (See

(3.4.18) for Yang-Mills.)

A possible candidate for a gauge-ﬁxed action can be written in terms of Q as

†

S = Q, 1

2 Φ OΦ + 1

6 Φ† (QIN T Φ) (12.2.18a)

c

† ∂ † ∂

= − 12 (Q0 Φ) c, Φ− 1

2 (QIN T Φ) c, − 1

3 Φ , (12.2.18b)

∂c ∂c

1

where Q0 and QIN T are the free and interaction terms of Q, and O = 2 [c, ∂/∂c].

Each term in (12.2.18a) is separately BRST invariant. The BRST invariance of the

second term follows from the associativity property of the ∗ product. Due to the

−1/3 in (12.2.18b) one can easily show that all φ2 ψ terms drop out, due just to the c

dependence of Φ and the cyclicity of QIN T . Such terms would contain auxiliary ﬁelds

which drop out of the free action. We would like these ﬁelds to occur only in a way

which could be eliminated by ﬁeld redeﬁnition, corresponding to maintaining a gauge

invariance of the free action at the interacting level, so we could choose the gauge

where these ﬁelds vanish. Unfortunately, this is not the case in (12.2.18), so allowing

this abelian gauge invariance would require adding some additional cubic-interaction

gauge-ﬁxing term, each term of which contains auxiliary-ﬁeld factors, such that the

undesired auxiliary ﬁelds are eliminated from the action.

**Whereas the δ-functionals used in the light-cone formalism correspond to a “ﬂat”
**

geometry (see chapt. 10), with all curvature in the boundary (speciﬁcally, the split-

ting point) rather than the surface itself, those used in Witten’s covariant formalism

correspond to the geometry (with the 3 external legs amputated)

222 12. GAUGE-INVARIANT INTERACTIONS

XXX

XXX XXXX

C XXX XX

C XXX XXXX

C XX X

XXX XXXX

C XX X

CXX XXX

XXX C

XX C

XX

X

X X C

XX

XXX C

XXC

C

C

C

C

C

**(The boundaries of the strings are on top; the folds along the bottom don’t aﬀect
**

the intrinsic geometry.) All the curvature is concentrated in the cusp at the bottom

(a small circle around it subtends an angle of 3π), with no intrinsic curvature in the

boundary (all parts of the boundary form angles of π with respect to the surface).

Each string is “folded” in the middle (π/2), and thus the vertex δ-functionals equate

the coordinates Z(σ) of one string with Z(π − σ) for the next string for σ ∈ [0, π/2]

(and therefore with Z(π − σ) for the previous string for σ ∈ [π/2, π]). These δ

functions are easily seen to deﬁne an associative product: Two successive ∗ products

produce a conﬁguration like the one above, but with 4 strings, and associativity is

just the cyclicity of this 4-string object (see (12.2.10)). (However, vertex factors can

ruin this associativity because of divergences of the coincidence of two such factors

in the product of two vertices, as in the superstring: see below.)

Similar remarks apply to the corresponding product implied by the δ functionals

of (9.2.23) of the light-cone formalism, but there associativity is violated by an amount

which is ﬁxed by the light-cone 4-point interaction vertex. This is due to the fact that

in the light-cone formalism there is a 4-point graph where a string has a string split

oﬀ from one side, followed by an incoming string joining onto the same side. If no

conformal transformation is made, this graph is nonplanar, unlike the graph where

this splitting and joining occur on opposite sides. There is a similar graph where

the splitting and joining occur on the opposite side from the ﬁrst graph, and these

2 graphs are continuously related by a graph with a 4-point vertex as described in

chapt. 10. The σ-position of the interaction point in the surface of the string varies

from one end of the string to the other, with the vertex having this point at an end

being the same as the limit of the 1 of the other 2 graphs where the propagator has

vanishing length. On the other hand, in the covariant formalism the limits of the

12.2. Midpoint interaction 223

**2 corresponding graphs are the same, so no 4-point vertex is needed to interpolate
**

between them.

**The appropriate vertex factor for the midpoint interaction follows directly from
**

the quantum mechanics with bosonized ghosts. From (8.1.28a), since w = −1 for

there is an

C, d2 σ e−1 32 Rχ term which contributes only where there is curvature.

Thus, the total contribution of the curvature at the cusp to the path integral is an

extra factor of an exponential whose exponent is 3/2 times χ evaluated at the cusp.

The BRST invariance of the ﬁrst-quantized action then guarantees that the vertex

conserves Q0 , and the coeﬃcient of the curvature term compensates for the anomaly

in ghost-number conservation at the cusp. (Similar remarks apply for fermionized

ghosts using the Lorentz connection term.) Alternatively, the coeﬃcient follows from

considering the ghost number of the ﬁelds and what ghost number is required for the

vertex to give the same matrix elements for physical polarizations as in the light-

cone formalism: In terms of bosonized-ghost coordinates, any physical state must be

∼ e−q̂/2 by (8.1.19,21a). Since the δ functional and functional integration in χ have

no such factors, and the vertex factor can be only at the cusp (otherwise it destroys

the above properties of the δ functionals), it must be e3χ/2 evaluated at the cusp to

cancel the q̂-dependence of the 3 ﬁelds. In terms of the original fermionic ghosts,

we use the latter argument, since the anomalous curvature term doesn’t show up

in the classical mechanics lagrangian (although a similar argument could be made

by considering quantum mechanical corrections). Then the physical states have no

dependence on c, while the vertex has a dc integration for each of the 3 coordinates,

and a single δ function for overall conservation of the “momentum” c. (A similar

argument follows from working in terms of Fourier transformed ﬁelds which depend

instead on the “coordinate” ∂/∂c.) The appropriate vertex factor is thus

C( π2 )C̃( π2 ) ∼ Ĉ( π2 )Ĉ(− π2 ) , (12.2.19a)

or, in terms of bosonized ghosts (but still for ﬁelds with fermionic ghost coordinates)

e2χ(π/2) ∼ eχ̂(π/2) eχ̂(−π/2) , (12.2.19b)

**where π/2, the midpoint of each string, is the position of the cusp. (The diﬀerence in
**

the vertex factor for diﬀerent coordinates is analogous to the fact that the “scalar”

(−g)−1/2 δ D (x − x ) in general relativity has diﬀerent expressions for g in diﬀerent

coordinate systems.) The vertex, including the factor (12.2.19), can be considered

a Heisenberg-picture vacuum in the same way as in the light-cone formalism, where

224 12. GAUGE-INVARIANT INTERACTIONS

the vertex |V

= e∆ |0

in (9.2.1) was the eﬀect of acting on the interaction-picture

vacuum with the S-matrix (of the ﬁrst-quantized theory). However, in this case the

vacuum includes vertex factors because the appropriate vacuum is not the tachyon

one but rather the one left invariant by the Sp(2) subalgebra of the Virasoro algebra

[12.5] (see sect. 8.1). This is a consequence of the Sp(2) symmetry of the tree graphs.

Because of the midpoint form of the interaction there is a global symmetry cor-

responding to conformal transformations which leave the midpoint ﬁxed. In second-

quantized notation, any operator which is the bracket of (the interacting) Q with

something itself has a vanishing bracket with Q, and is therefore simultaneously

BRST invariant and generates a global symmetry of the action (because Q is the

action). In particular, we can consider

δ δ

Q, †

Φ − Φ ∼

Φ† G(σ) − σ) Φ ,

− G(π (12.2.20)

δ C(σ)

δ C(π − σ) c

**where the 2 δ/δ C terms cancel in the interaction term because of the form of the
**

overlap integral for the vertex (and the location of the vertex factor (12.2.19) at the

midpoint), and the surviving free term comes from the ﬁrst-quantized expression for

G = {Q0 , δ/δ C}.

Thus, this subalgebra of the Virasoro algebra remains a global

invariance at the interacting level (without becoming inhomogeneous in the ﬁelds).

The mode expansion of Witten’s vertex can be evaluated [12.6,7] as in the light-

cone case (sect. 9.2). (Partial evaluations were given and BRST invariance was also

studied in [12.8].) Now

1 δ

∆= 2 ∆(P̌ , P̌ ) − ∆ Č , . (12.2.21)

δ Č

(C has weight w = 2.) The map from the ρ plane to the z plane can be found from

the following sequence of conformal transformations:

←2 x iπ/2 1, 3 → ρ = ln ζ

xi

1−η

ζ =i = eρ

1+η

•

←3 2 1→

12.2. Midpoint interaction 225

'$

i−ζ

1,3 • x 0 •2 η = λ3/2 =

i+ζ

&%

1'

• $

i−z

x 0 •2 λ= = η 2/3

i+z

•

3& %

xi

1−λ

z=i

1+λ

• • •

3 2 1

(The bold-face numbers label the ends of the strings.) This maps the string from an

inﬁnite rectangle (ρ) to the upper-half plane (ζ) to the interior of the unit circle (η) to

a diﬀerent circle with all three strings appearing on the same sheet (λ) to the upper-

half plane with all strings on one sheet (z). If the cut for λ(η) is chosen appropriately

(the positive imaginary axis of the η plane), the cut under which the third string is

hidden is along the part of the imaginary ρ axis below iπ/2. (More conveniently, if

the cut is taken in the negative real direction in the η plane, then it’s in the positive

real direction in the ρ plane, with halves of 2 strings hidden under the cut.) Since the

last transformation is projective, we can drop it. (Projective transformations don’t

aﬀect equations like (9.2.14).)

Unfortunately, although the calculation can still be performed [12.7], there is now

no simple analog to (9.2.18). It’s easier to use instead a map similar to (9.2.16) by

considering a 6-string δ functional with pairs of strings identiﬁed [12.6]: Speciﬁcally,

we replace the last 2 maps above with

6'

• • 1$

i − ẑ

5• x 0 •2 λ̂ = = η 1/3

i + ẑ

• • 3%

4&

xi

1 − λ̂

ẑ = i

• • • • • 1 + λ̂

4 3 2 1 6 5→

226 12. GAUGE-INVARIANT INTERACTIONS

**and thus, relabeling r → r + 1 (or performing an equivalent rotation of the λ̂ circle)
**

5

ρ= p+r ln(ẑ − z r ) − ln 3 ,

r=1

√ 1 1 √

p+r = (−1)r+1 z r = ( 3, √ , 0, − √ , − 3, ∞) .

, (12.2.22)

3 3

We can then use the same procedure as the light cone. However, it turns out to be

more convenient to evaluate the contour integrals in terms of ζ rather than ẑ. Also,

instead of applying (9.2.18) to (12.2.22), we apply it to the corresponding expression

for λ̂:

5

ρ= αr ln(λ̂ − λr ) − 14 iπ ,

r=1

p+r = (−1)r , λr = e−iπ(r−2)/3 . (12.2.23)

Reexpressing (9.2.18) in terms of λ̂, we ﬁnd

∂ ∂ 1 1

+ ln(λ̂ − λ̂ ) = 1

6 (λ̂3 + λ̂3 ) + (λ̂λ̂2 + λ̂2 λ̂ ) + + .

∂ρ ∂ρ λ̂λ̂2 λ̂2 λ̂

(12.2.24)

Using the conservation laws, the ﬁrst set of terms can be dropped. Since it’s actually

λ = λ̂2 (or z), and not λ̂, for which the string is mapped to the complex plane

(λ̂ describes a 6-string vertex, and thus double counts), the ln we actually want to

evaluate is

ln(λ − λ ) = ln(λ̂ − λ̂ ) + ln(λ̂ + λ̂ ) . (12.2.25)

This just says that the general coeﬃcients N rs in ∆ multiplying oscillators from

string r times those from string s is related to the corresponding ﬁctitious 6-string

by

coeﬃcients N rs

+N

N rs = N . (12.2.26)

rs r,s+3

**The contour integrals can now be evaluated over ζ in terms of
**

1/3 ∞

2/3 ∞

1+x n 1+x

= an x , = bn xn , (12.2.27)

1−x 0 1−x 0

These coeﬃcients satisfy the recursion relations

(n + 1)an+1 = 23 an + (n − 1)an−1 , (n + 1)bn+1 = 43 bn + (n − 1)bn−1 , (12.2.28)

**which can be derived by appropriate manipulations of the corresponding contour
**

integrals: e.g.,

. 1/3

dx 1 1+x

an =

0 2πix xn 1−x

. 1/3

dx 1 3 2 1+x

= 2 (1 − x ) . (12.2.29)

0 2πix xn 1−x

12.2. Midpoint interaction 227

**Because of i’s relative to (12.2.27) appearing in the actual contour integrals, we use
**

instead the coeﬃcients

(−1)n/2 (n even)

An = an · , (12.2.30)

(−1)(n−1)/2 (n odd)

and similarly for B n . We ﬁnally obtain an expression similar to (9.2.27), except that

we must use (12.2.26), and

1

N rsmn = m n M rsmn ,

p+r

+ p+s

M r,r+t,mn = 13 cmnt Am B n + (−1)m+n+t B m An ,

(−1)m Re(eit2π/3 ) (m + n even)

cmnt = . (12.2.31)

Im(eit2π/3 ) (m + n odd)

The terms for n = m = 0 or n = 0 = m can be evaluated by taking the appropriate

limit (n → m or n → 0). m = n = 0 can then be evaluated separately, using

(9.2.22b), (12.2.22), and (12.2.26). The ﬁnal result is

1 33 2

∆(Ψ̌1 , Ψ̌2 ) = − ψ 1 Nψ 2 − 4 ln p , (12.2.32)

24

!

where is over r, s = 1, 2, 3 and m, n = 0, 1, . . . , ∞ except for the term m = n = 0.

As for (9.2.27), ψ refers to all sets of oscillators, with ψ replaced with p+ 1−w ψ for

oscillators of weight w. In this case we use (12.2.21), and the p+ ’s are all ±1, so for

the ghosts there is an extra sign factor p+r p+s for N rsmn .

**There are a number of problems to resolve for this formalism: (1) In calculating
**

S-matrix elements, the 4-point function is considerably more diﬃcult to calculate than

in the light-cone formalism [12.9], and the conformal maps are so complicated that

it’s not yet known how to derive even the 5-point function for tachyons, although ar-

guments have been given for equivalence to the light-cone/external-ﬁeld result [12.10].

(2) It doesn’t seem possible to derive an external-ﬁeld approach to interactions, since

the string lengths are all ﬁxed to be π. In the light-cone formalism the external-ﬁeld

approach follows from choosing the Lorentz frame where all but 2 of the string lengths

(i.e., p+ ’s) vanish. (Thus, e.g., in the 3-string vertex 1 string reduces to a point on

the boundary, reducing to a vertex as in sect. 9.1.) This is related to the fact that I

of (12.2.11) is just the harmonic oscillator ground state at vanishing momentum (and

length) for the light-cone formalism, but for this formalism it’s ∼ δ[X(σ) − X(π − σ)].

(3) The fact that the gauge-invariant vertex is so diﬀerent from the light-cone vertex

indicates that gauge-ﬁxing to the light-cone gauge should be diﬃcult. Furthermore,

228 12. GAUGE-INVARIANT INTERACTIONS

**the light-cone formalism requires a 4-point interaction in the action, whereas this co-
**

variant formalism doesn’t. Perhaps a formalism with a larger gauge invariance exists

such that these 2 formalisms are found by 2 diﬀerent types of gauge choices. (4)

There is some diﬃculty in extending the discussion of sect. 11.1 for the closed string

to the interacting case, since the usual form of the physical-state vertex requires that

the vertex be related to the product of open-string vertices for the clockwise and

counterclockwise states, multiplied by certain vertex factors which don’t exist in this

formalism (although they would in a formalism more similar to the light-cone one,

since the light-cone formalism has more zero-mode conservation laws). This is partic-

ularly confusing since open strings generate closed ones at the 1-loop level. However,

some progress in understanding these closed strings has been made [12.11]. Also, a

general analysis has been made of some properties of the 3-point closed-string vertex

required by consistency of the 1-loop tadpole and 4-string tree graphs [12.12], using

techniques which are applicable to vertices more general than δ-functionals [12.13].

The gauge-ﬁxing of this formalism with a BRST algebra that closes on shell has

been studied [12.14]. It has been shown both in the formalism of light-cone-like closed

string theory [12.15] and for the midpoint-interaction open string theory [12.16] that

the kinetic term can be obtained from an action with just the cubic term by giving

an appropriate vacuum value to the string ﬁeld. However, whereas in the former case

(barring diﬃculties in loops mentioned above) this vacuum value is natural because

of the vacuum value of the covariant metric ﬁeld for the graviton, in the latter case

there is no classical graviton in the open string theory, so the existence (or usefulness)

of such a mechanism is somewhat confusing.

The midpoint-interaction formulation of the open superstring (as a truncated

spinning string) has also been developed [11.3,12.17]. The supersymmetry algebra

closes only on shell, and the action apparently also needs (at least) 4-point interactions

to cancel divergences in 4-point amplitudes due to coincidence of vertex operator

factors (both of which occur at the midpoint) [12.18]. Such interactions might be of

the same type needed in the light-cone formulation (chapt. 10).

Exercises

(1) Check the BRST invariance of (12.2.18).

(2) Find the transformation of ln(z−z ) under the projective transformation z → az+b

cz+d

!

(and similarly for z ). Use the conservation law r ψ 0r = 0 to show that (9.2.14)

is unaﬀected.

Exercises 229

**(3) Derive the last term of (12.2.32).
**

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INDEX 241

INDEX

Action 10, 11.1, 11.2, 12.2

see BRST; Light cone; Yang-Mills Coherent states 5.5, 9.1

Anomalies Compactiﬁcation 1.2, 1.3

see Graphs, anomalies Component expansions 11.2

Auxiliary ﬁelds 2.1, 4.1 Conformal transformations

D=2 6.2, 8.1, 9.1, 9.2

Bosonic strings 6.1, 7.1, 8.1 D>2 2.2, 2.3

Bosonization 8.1 Sp(2) 8.1, 9.2, 9.3, 12.2

Bound states 9.3 superconformal 5.4

Boundary conditions 6.1, 6.3 Conjugation, charge, complex, or hermitian

Bracket, covariant 3.4, 4.2 see Proper time reversal

BRST 3.1, 4.1, 11.1, 12.1 Constraints

action, gauge-invariant 4.1, 11.1, 12.2 see BRST

BRST1 3.2, 3.4, 4.1 Coset space methods 2.2,5.4

BRST2 3.2, 3.3 Covariantized light cone

closed strings 11.1 see Light cone, covariantized

extra modes 3.2, 4.3 Critical dimension 1.2, 7.1, 8.1

gauge ﬁxing 3.2, 4.4, 5.5, 12.2

GL(1|1) 4.2, 8.2 DDF operators 8.1

GL(2|2) 3.6, 4.1, 8.3 Dimension, spacetime

IGL(1) 3.2, 4.2, 8.1, 12.1, 12.2 D=1 1.1, 2.6, 5.1

inﬁnite tower of ghosts 5.5 D=2 1.1, 1.3, 3.1, 6.1

interacting 2.4, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.2, D=3 5.4, 7.3

12.1, 12.2 D=4 1.1, 1.3, 5.4, 7.3

IOSp(1,1|2) 3.3, 11.1 D=6 1.3, 5.4, 7.3

IOSp(2,2|4) 3.6, 4.1 D = 10 1.2, 1.3, 5.4, 7.3

IOSp(D,2|2) 2.6, 3.4 D = 26 1.2, 7.1, 8.1

IOSp(D+1,3|4) 3.6, 4.1, 5.5, 8.3 Dimensional reduction 2.3, 5.4

Lorentz gauge 3.2 Divergences

Lorentz gauge, string 8.3 see Graphs, loops

open strings 8.1, 8.3, 12.1, 12.2 Division algebras 5.4

OSp(1,1|2) 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, 4.5, Duality 9.1

8.2, 8.3

OSp(D,2|2) 2.6, 3.4 External ﬁelds

particles 5.2, 5.5 see Graphs, external ﬁelds

supersymmetry 5.5, 7.3

temporal gauge 3.1, 3.2 Fermionization 8.1

U(1,1|1,1) 3.6, 4.1, 4.5, 5.5 Fermions 3.5, 4.5, 5.3

Field, string 10.1, 11.1, 12.1

Canonical quantization Field equations

covariant 3.4, 4.2 ﬁeld strengths 2.2, 5.4, 7.3

light cone 2.4 gauge ﬁelds

Chan-Paton factors see BRST; Yang-Mills

see Group theory indices Finiteness

Chiral scalars 3.1, 6.2 see Loops

Classical mechanics 4+4-extension

conformal gauge 6.2 see BRST: GL(2|2), IOSp(2,2|4), U(1,1|1,1)

gauge covariant 6.1 Functional integrals 9.2

light cone 6.3

particle 5.1 γ matrices 2.1, 3.5, 5.3, 5.4, 7.2, 7.3

Closed strings 1.1, 1.2, 6.1, 6.3, 7.1, 8.2, Gauge

242 INDEX

**see BRST; Light cone D=2 6.2, 8.3
**

Gauge ﬁxing D>2

see BRST; Light cone see Gravity

Ghosts ﬂat-space 2.1, 6.2

see BRST

Graphs Neveu-Schwarz-Ramond model

anomalies 1.2, 8.1, 9.3 see Spinning strings

covariantized light cone 2.6 No-ghost theorem 4.4, 4.5

external ﬁelds 9.1

light cone 2.5 Octonions 5.4

loops 1.1, 1.2, 9.3 Orientation

trees 9.2 see Twists

Gravity 4.1, 11.2 OSp

super 1.1 see BRST; Light cone, covariantized

Group theory indices 7.1, 9.2, 10

Gupta-Bleuler 3.1, 3.2, 5.4, 7.3, 8.1 Particle 1.1, 5.1

bosonic 5.1, 5.2

Hadrons 1.1 isospinning 5.3

Hamiltonian quantization 3.1 spinning 5.3

Heterotic strings supersymmetric 5.4

see Superstrings Path integrals 9.2

Perturbation theory

IGL(1) see Graphs

see BRST Poincaré algebra

Interacting string picture see Light cone, Poincaré algebra

see Graphs Polyakov approach

Interactions see Graphs

see BRST; Light cone Projective group 8.1, 9.3

IOSp Proper time τ

see BRST; Light cone, covariantized see Dimension, spacetime, D = 1

Proper time reversal 5.1, 6.3, 8.1, 8.3, 10

Klein transformation 7.2

Koba-Nielsen amplitude 9.1 QCD 1.1

Quantum mechanics

Lagrange multipliers 3.1 see BRST; Canonical quantization;

Length, string 6.3 Light cone; Path integrals

Light cone 2.1, 7.1, 10 Quaternions 5.4

actions 2.1, 5.5, 10

bosonic particles 5.1 Ramond-Neveu-Schwarz model

bosonic strings 6.3, 7.1, 10 see Spinning strings

covariantized 2.6, 10 Regge theory 1.1, 9.1

graphs 2.5, 9.2 Reparametrization invariance

interactions 2.1, 2.4, 9.2, 10 see Metric, D = 1 and D = 2

Poincaré algebra 2.3, 7.1, 7.2, 10

spinning strings 7.2 Scale invariance, 2D local (Weyl)

spinors 5.3 see Metric, D = 2

superparticles 5.4, 5.5 σ reversal

superstrings 7.3 see Twists

Yang-Mills 2.1, 2.4 S-matrix

Loops see Graphs

see Graphs, loops Spectrum, mass 7.1

Spinning strings 7.2

Metric Spinors

D=1 5.1 see Fermions; γ matrices; Supersymmetry

INDEX 243

String

see the whole book

Stueckelberg ﬁelds 4.1

Superconformal transformations 5.4, 7.2

Supergravity

see Gravity, super

Superspin 5.4, 5.5

Superstrings (I, IIAB, heterotic) 1.2, 7.3, 9.3,

10

Supersymmetry

D=1 5.3

D=2 7.2

D>2 1.2, 1.3, 5.4, 5.5, 7.3

Tension, string (α ) 6.1

Trees

see Graphs, trees

Twistors 5.4

Twists 7.1, 10

Veneziano model

see Bosonic string

Vertices

see BRST; Light cone

Virasoro operators

see Conformal transformations, 2D

World sheet

see Dimension, spacetime, D=2

Yang-Mills 2.1, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1,

4.2, 4.4, 4.6, 11.2

super 5.4, 9.1

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